How To Pick A Cellphone Plan - Aarp in[@city]

Published Dec 24, 21
4 min read

Using your address and zip code, it’s relatively easy to sniff out the strongest service provider in your area. Search for domestic or international coverage Zoom in to sixteen times magnification Filter map data by voice, data, or prepaid coverage Search locations by address, postal code, country, or landmark Search locations by address, city, or postal code Includes an interactive map Zoom in to six times magnification Shows region and route data for up to five addresses Zoom in to eleven times magnification Search locations by address Filter map data by voice or data coverage Zoom in to twelve times magnification Search locations by address According to your findings, you may or may not find your location “covered”.

Because these maps are designed as marketing tools, their areas of coverage don’t measure the strength of that coverage. So even if you find yourself under a colorful blob of “coverage”, you may still notice dropped calls, slow download speeds, and a weak signal overall. A cell tower locator is still the most reliable means to finding the strongest signal.

Smartphone Apps to Find Your Nearest Cell Tower Location Like the websites we’ve tried, there are also a plethora of apps designed to locate your nearest cell phone tower. Using your location, these apps are able to map out the closest cell phone tower — though their accuracy is hard to verify.

We’ve listed a few of our favorites to help find cell phone tower locations and coverage quality: (Recommended): For i, Phone and Android Currently the best option for most (see Update) i, Phone users, this app features a compass that points you in the direction of your carrier’s nearest cell phone tower, as well as a map.

(Highly Recommended): Android Only While Network Cell Info Lite is a better application overall, it only works for Android. It shows your nearest cell tower AND its ID number, giving you a more accurate reading for d, B and d, Bm, so you can better understand your signal strength. Like our professional installers, you can use d, Bm as a direct measurement of signal strength, which is far more reliable than the bars on your phone.

For i, Phone and Android Root, Metrics is a strong indicator of signal quality in your area, though it does not have a cell phone tower map. You may not be able to find your nearest cell tower, you can explore a local heatmap that’s crowdsourced for real-world signal strength.

4. Find Your Cell Tower Location Using Your Smartphone’s Antenna How about some good old-fashioned reverse-engineering to find your phone’s nearest tower? All cellular devices operate over radio waves, which are measured in d, Bm (decibel-milliwatts). The standard frequency falls between: -50 d, Bm to -120 d, Bm, with -50 d, Bm being the strongest, and -120 d, Bm the weakest (total dead zone).

Meaning, d, Bm signal strength and the number of bars is somewhat arbitrary. Sprint’s 1 bar could be equivalent to Verizon’s 3 bars, even when the d, Bm is identical. Bars may be subjective, but d, Bm readings are not. The closer you are to -50 d, B, the better your signal.

Fortunately, your smartphone can display these d, Bm readings for you. How to Access Your d, Bm Signal (Field Test Mode): For i, Phone Users Apple has hidden d, Bm readings in i, Phone field test mode since releasing i, OS 11 and 12, but, depending on your i, Phone chipset (Intel or Qualcomm) and your carrier (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint), there is a potential workaround.

For Android Users Field test mode on Android varies by model and operating system, but is usually found under the menu. Select Settings Select About Phone Select Status or Network Select SIM Status Your d, Bm can be found under Signal strength Once you’ve found your d, Bm reading, explore the perimeter of your home and take note of the areas with the strongest d, Bm reading.

5. Update your Phone to Find New Towers Your phone will generally connect to the nearest tower, but with the construction of new towers and various adjustments, it’s possible you can do better. Tower updates vary by carrier and device, but the process itself is simple. AT&T Tower Update Options for i, Phone: Toggle the "Airplane" icon off and back on to reconnect to the network.