Why doesn’t my cell phone work at my desk but does three feet away?
By Will Taylor Follow me on Twitter | Monday, January 05, 2009 (permalink)
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It seems incredibly difficult to believe, but your cell phone signal strength can be totally different even within a small radius of where you are. How can this be possible? Listen to this CBS radio interview with Mike Sugerman to find out and read more about it below.
Cell phone signals will be stronger when you are in line of sight to the transmitter. If there is something blocking the path for the transmission, you may not have a good signal. We all know what happens to your car radio signal when you drive through a tunnel. The same thing happens with cell phone signals. Dead zones are particularly an issue inside buildings, parking garages, and elevators built of concrete and steel. The signal cant always penetrate through the building to reach the phone, which means you will miss calls or have a poor or lost connection. The closer you are to the outside air, even through a window, the more likely it is that you will have good coverage.
The network and the cell phone are constantly communicating with each other and trying to make sure you have the best signal possible. In some cases you may bounce from one transmitter to another. When this happens, youll see one or two bars of coverage then none then one or two again.
What can you do if you have spotty coverage or frequently come across coverage holes?
First, check to make sure that your equipment is fully functional. If there is someone else in your office who has the same service provider you do, see if they have the same poor signal strength in the same spot. If their signal strength is better, its likely that there is a problem with your cell phone. It may be that you need to get the most up-to-date software or that your phone needs to be serviced or replaced. Contact your service provider for assistance.
Second, if you have service with T-Mobile, consider getting a UMA phone which allows you to make your phone calls over a Wi-Fi network. This is particularly useful for in-building coverage and for more remote areas where the providers do not have good coverage. If you have service with another provider other than T-Mobile, you may want to consider installing an in-building repeater, especially if youre equipping an office. However, such equipment can be prohibitively expensive.
Third, if you have persistent issues that arent related to your particular handset, you should consider switching to a new service provider. Generally speaking, the carriers that use 800mHz frequencies like AT&T, Verizon, and Nextel will have better in-building coverage than the carriers that use 1900mHz frequencies, like Sprint and T-Mobile. Before you buy, check out LetsTalk.com or the carriers websites where you can see coverage details. It may be that your provider just doesnt have good coverage at your home or work. But the proof is really testing out the cell phone where you plan to use it. All of the providers have no-risk trial periods so that you can make calls at home, work and in between. Finally, dont hesitate to submit a question via this blog or Twitter with the cell phone experts at LetsTalk.com if you need further assistance.
connie dewalt - 09/21/11
I love verizon wireless, and I switched to a higher plan which includes friends and family, but because all my family lives in Puerto Rico (area code 787) I cannot include them in my plan, so I am paying for a plan with a benefit that I cannot use, consequently I always need a plan with more minutes, I am frustrated since I really like Verizon and I do not want to change to another wireless provider.