November 3, 2022

Phones have become the cornerstone for both personal and business communication. Everyone uses phones when they are at home, in the office, and outside. Because of this, commercial buildings need to have good signal strength indoors for their staff. This not only ensures that everyone can communicate effectively, but that they can do so with fewer dropped calls and more reliability. Having a strong phone signal is paramount for commercial properties so personal and company business can be conducted without worries about instability and poor reliability.

If you are looking to improve your phone signal strength in your building to ensure all of your staff and customers can utilize their phones in your building, you will want to know what goes into having a good phone signal.

What Exactly Is A Good Phone Signal?

Phone signal strength is measured using decibel milliwatts. This can be abbreviated to dBms. The signal strength can be expressed as a negative number and it usually falls into a specific range starting at -30 dBm to -110 dBm. The closer you get to 0, the stronger the signal and the more reliable it is. Meaning, a signal of -70dBm is much stronger than a signal of -97 dBm.

Any signal that is greater than -85 dBm is considered a reliable one. You typically won’t see signals that are better than -50 dBm. Whereas, a weak signal is usually worse than -100 dBm. A signal that is worse than -100 dBm is typically too unreliable to be useful. You can expect a lot of dropped transmissions and difficulties making calls at that weak level.

Some evidence of having a good signal in your commercial building includes:

  • Having crystal clear call clarity
  • Having a few dropped calls
  • Not having much buffering
  • Having fast and reliable download speeds

What Do The Bars On The Phone Mean?

If you’ve ever tried to use your phone when you didn’t have a great signal, you are likely well aware of how the bars play a role. You’ve likely paid attention to the number of bars you have on your phone if you’ve found yourself unable to make a phone call or get internet. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see many bars yet still be unable to place a phone call or access your data. This happens because the bars do not accurately reflect the quality or strength of your signal.

Why is the phone signal so bad? The problem with using these bars is the fact that they don’t have any sort of industry-standard governing them. As a result, they only truly provide an estimate of how much signal it’s getting rather than an actual and usable value. Also, because every phone manufacturer uses different algorithms to calculate the bars, you can find one manufacturer delivering clearer voice call quality with 2 bars than one with 4. It’s also possible for your phone to display that you have a strong signal with bars when you have none at all.

How Can You Determine Your Cellular Signal Strength In Your Commerical Building?

If you currently have an active connection, you can find hidden test modes that you can use. This is true with both Android phones and iOS phones. You can find these test modes that will show you the accurate strength of your signal. You can also conduct a comprehensive site survey around your building to get signal readings throughout. This can help you figure out where the signal is the strongest, weakest, and where it’s nonexistent. This can also help you figure out if you would benefit from installing a booster and find the ideal placement for it.

Field test mode is usually a very easy thing to turn on. However, you will find each device has different steps to initiate it.

Phones Using Android:

To initiate Field Test Mode on your Android device, you will want to head to your phone’s settings. From there, you can select “About Phone.” At this point, you will be able to click on either “Network” or “Status” and you will find the signal strength in it. You can also check “Network Type” to see what network you are currently accessing.

Phones Using iOS:

You want to ensure that your WiFi is turned off before proceeding. This will ensure that you know what network you are connected to whether it be LTE, 3G, or even 5G. To turn off your WiFi, open “Settings” head to Wi-Fi, and turn it “Off.”