Cell phone technology keeps advancing, but reception doesn’t always keep pace. Across the nation, a performance rate of 97 percent reliability in getting and staying connected is considered excellent for wireless carriers, according to RootMetrics. This is great 97 percent of the time, but it also means that 3 percent of the time you’ll be experiencing dropped calls, calls that don’t connect, audio problems, text lags and other annoying issues.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to get a stronger signal. Here are three ways to boost your cell phone reception.
Find the Nearest Cell Tower Location
One of the easiest ways to get a better signal is to make sure you’re connected to the nearest cell phone tower available on your carrier’s network. One power-saving feature many phones use is saving the closest tower’s signal location. This may mean your phone is locking onto a saved tower instead of the tower that is geographically nearest you.
To locate your nearest cell phone tower, there are a number of methods you can use. Turning your phone’s power off for about 10 seconds can reset your phone’s memory so that it initiates a new search for the nearest available tower. Major cell phone carriers publish maps you can use to check the location of the nearest tower. However, such maps aren’t always accurate, and to truly pinpoint the nearest tower, you’re better off using a third-party service such as CellReception, AntennaSearch or OpenSignal. Some of these types of services are web-based, while others feature apps you can install on your phone.
Use a Signal Booster or Femtocell
If you’re trying to connect to your network from home, another option you can use is a cell signal booster or femtocell. A booster can detect a nearby signal outside a building, amplify it and then rebroadcast it indoors so that you get a stronger signal. A booster can work as long as there is a detectable cellular signal in the vicinity, even if it’s a weak signal.
In contrast, a femtocell uses your internet connection to create a signal, so it can work even without a cellular signal. A femtocell is basically a miniature cell station that you set up in your home. It connects with your internet network through your modem and translates your home’s broadband connection into a cellular signal you can use for making calls and sending texts. In order to use a femtocell, you need a broadband landline connection with a minimum download speed of 1.5 Mbps and a minimum upload speed of 256 Kpbs. If you’re having regular connection problems, your wireless carrier may be willing to provide you with a free or discounted femtocell.
Optimize Your Battery Performance
Staying connected to a cellular signal requires a constant power supply, so if your battery is running low, it can affect your connection. Taking steps to conserve battery power can help you stay connected. Turn down your screen’s brightness, close background apps you’re not using, turn off push notifications and turn off hardware options such as Bluetooth and NFC that aren’t in use.
For optimal battery performance, today’s fastest mobile processors, such as the ones made by Qualcomm, use power-efficient architectures that last longer per charge and recharge more quickly. Making sure you’re using a phone with cutting-edge hardware to preserve battery life can help you get better reception.
Connecting to the nearest cell tower signal, using a booster or femtocell, and optimizing your battery performance are three simple strategies you can use to boost your cell phone reception. Using these strategies can help you enjoy fewer dropped calls, more reliable reception and a more satisfying cell phone experience.