How To Measure Cell Phone Signal Strength?

A woman measuring signal strength on her phone.

If you are still checking your cell phone signal strength by counting the number of signal bars displayed on the cell phone, it is high time you adopt the much-needed change. Studying signal strength by measuring signal bars can only give you a rough idea about available signal strength. What you want is something more advanced like the signal evaluation involving decibel milliwatts values.

Cell phone signals are radio waves that operate within a certain frequency range. Cellular signal strengths fall between -50 dBm and -120 dBm. -50 dBm corresponds to strong signals while -120 dBm corresponds to very poor signals or a dead zone. As the signal strengths move from the -50 dBm end to -120 dBm end, they start becoming weaker.

How To Measure dBm Signal Values In Android Phone? 

Field test mode for Android differs according to the model of the phone and its OS version. However, the dBm signal strengths are usually found in the settings menu.

Here is how you can do it.

  • Select settings
  • Tap About Phone
  • Select Status or Network
  • Tap SIM status

You can now see the dBm signal strength.

The signal strength values will not be the same throughout your place. To find out the variations in signal strength, walk around your place with your phone in signal testing mode.

Why Is It Important To Measure Signal Strengths Accurately?

Measuring signal strengths at your place is an important step in the installation of a cell phone booster. The performance of the device is dependent on the strength of the signals at the input end i.e the external antenna. The outdoor/external antenna pulls in signals from the outside and transfers them to the amplifier unit, which then works on the signals and boosts them. The amplified signals are then broadcasted by the inside antenna.

The external antenna cannot be installed at a random place. It has to be placed in an area where maximum signal strength is available. Measuring dBm values on your phone is not the only way to get a signal map of your place. Signal meters are used to get the accurate signal strength readings at your place. Cell phone booster technicians usually use signal meters for measuring cell phone signals.

Once the signal booster at your place becomes operational, the extent to which it boosts signals has to be identified in order to ensure that its boosting abilities conform to the signal gain promised by its manufacturers. For that, you have to measure the signal strength near the inside antenna and compare it with the external signal strength.