Better cell phone reception – 8 things you can do RIGHT NOW

Ken Perkins | May 7, 2015


Stop Moving If you’re driving, find a safe place to pull over and park for a few minutes. If walking, just stop. When you are stationary, your phone and the network don’t have to constantly adjust for your changing location. This makes it easier to get and hold a strong signal.

Change Your Location

If you’re at home, try different rooms of your house or apartment to see if you get better reception in any of them. If you’re in the workplace, move to the other side of the office or into the hallway. Cellular signal tends to fluctuate inside buildings, so by trying different locations you can often find a place that provides better reception.

Find a window

Building materials tend to obstruct cellular signals, and glass may allow signal to pass through more readily than, say, concrete walls or a metal roof. For better reception, go stand near a window to try your call. If you see little or no improvement at first, move to another window. If you know the location of your cell carrier’s nearest tower, find a window on the side of the building facing the tower.

Get higher!

Cell phone signal works on a line-of-site basis. Any obstructions between you and the tower can block and weaken the signal you receive. By increasing your elevation you reduce the chance of obstructions degrading your reception. So go up to the top floor of your home or office building. Or if driving, find a high spot and park there to try your call.

Go outside

Sometimes you just have to give up the battle and go outside to make or receive a call. As noted above, anything between you and the tower can degrade your reception. Exiting the building may mean taking the elevator down 14 floors, or maybe you’ll have to park your car and step out. Not very convenient perhaps, but if you need to make a call this will immediately reduce potential obstructions. Unfortunately, inclement weather and traffic jams can sometimes make this suggestion really inconvenient. But it works!

Use a mobile service map tool

You can download apps or find websites that show you the precise locations in your area of cell towers for the various carriers. When you know where your carrier’s nearest tower is, you can take steps to reduce potential obstructions between you and the tower location which should improve reception. To find these tools, go to your app store or use a favorite search engine. There are multiple options to choose from.

Use these tips in combination

The more of these tips you can use together, the better your chances of improving your cell reception.

Finally, consider a technological solution to improve reception

If nothing else works, you may have to employ some tech to improve your cell coverage. Options for your specific situation may include:

a femtocell (sometimes called a microcell)

Wi-Fi calling

a Wilson cell phone signal booster (or cellular repeater)

Each has its specific advantages. We’ll discuss them in more detail in our next post.