What the $#%&!!

Why does my cell phone lose signal?

To understand why our cell phones don't always get the best signal or drop calls, we must first understand the basics of how a cell phone works.

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When you turn on your cell phone

When you turn your phone on, it listens for special frequencies (control channel) that the phone and tower (base station) use to talk to one another. Once the phone locates your nearest base station, that station sends a registration request, so the MTSO can keep track of which cell your phone is in. The MTSO stores all of this info in a database so it can locate your phone when it needs to ring it. When the phone can't find the control channels it will display a "no service" message, because it knows it is out of range.

There are many factors that can cause your phone to loose signal, drop a call, or not even connect with the base station. Most have to do with what stands between your phone and the tower.

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Materials that weaken signal

The more obstacles that stand between you and the base station the more potential there is for a weakened or lost signal to the tower. If you are in a building, these obstacles include the materials used to build the structure. Even if you are outside the natural surroundings like trees, mountains, and even the weather can affect your signal strength.

Metal is often used in siding and other building materials. It is highly conductive and can weaken your cellular signal by absorbing or reflecting it.

Materials that block signal

There are also materials and situations that can completely block signal to and from your cell phone.

faraday cage

Faraday Cage - The same concept as the aluminum foil, just on a much larger scale! Basically they lined the Pentagon in aluminum foil to keep out nosy eavesdroppers. In reality, it's the faraday cage effect, used to block exterior signals from coming in, and from interior signals from going out, unless permitted.

Tips to Boost your signal

hold your phone up high

Up High

Believe it or not holding your phone up high does help with the signal, even though only by a little bit. In some cases you might not notice a difference, but sometimes it does help because you are getting it closer to the height of the radio waves coming from the base station. So don't be shy, stand on your chair and hold your phone high.

go outside to make a call

Get Out

If you are in a highly reinforced structure, or if you are in an area with a large crowd of people, you may have to step outside, away from these obstacles, to get a better signal. Sometimes even going to an outside room or near a window will help.

cellular repeater

Cellular Repeater

If those options don't work you might try a cellular repeater. A cellular repeater, or wireless cellular signal booster, a type of bi-directional amplifier (BDA), is a device used for boosting the cell phone reception to your local area by using a reception antenna, a signal amplifier and an internal rebroadcast antenna.

We here at RepairLabs have spent a considerable amount of time collecting the data and information to bring you this infographic, and just hope that you have enjoyed reading/viewing it as much as we have creating it for you.

Please feel free to share this amazingly informative infographic with your friends, co-workers, or pretty much anybody who has ever asked you why their phone dropped signal on them, that's what it's here for!

From your friends at RepairLabs, the most awesome device repair center in the nation, we bid you farewell, and hope your phone always has signal!