Do you have trouble getting good cell phone reception in your area? If so, you may want to try measuring the strength of your signal to see if it can be improved. Decibels are used to measure the intensity of sound waves, and they’re also used to measure the strength of cellular signals from mobile phones. 

If you have a mobile phone, here’s how to measure signal strength in decibels so that you can see where the problem areas are in your home or office area so that you can improve them by relocating your cell phone or getting it re-tested by your cell service provider.

What are decibels and why do we need them?

Decibels are a unit of measurement that indicate the strength of a signal. The higher the decibel number, the stronger the signal. 

When it comes to cell phone signal strength, you want a strong signal so you can make and receive calls without dropped calls or poor call quality. There are a few ways to measure signal strength in decibels on your cell phone.

When you get a cell phone signal, your phone will usually tell you how strong that signal is by displaying bars. One bar is a low-strength signal; four bars is a strong one. 

Unfortunately, not all phones display their decibel levels as bars. If your phone doesn’t provide any sort of reading, there are some free apps available from Google Play and Apple App Store that can do so for you. You can also find applications online for download onto most smartphones for free or a nominal fee. 

The importance of measuring cell phone signal strength

It is important to measure cell phone signal strength for a number of reasons. 

  • First, if you are having trouble with your service, measuring the signal strength can help you determine whether or not the problem is with your phone or the service itself. 
  • Second, if you are planning on switching service providers, measuring signal strength can help you decide which provider will give you the best coverage. 
  • Third, if you live in an area with poor cell phone reception, measuring signal strength can help you find a spot where you can get better reception. 
  • Fourth, if you are considering buying a new cell phone, measuring signal strength can help you decide which phone will work best for your needs.

The different factors affecting cell phone signal strength

There are a few different factors that can affect your cell phone signal strength. The first is your location. If you’re in a rural area, you might have a weaker signal than if you’re in a city. The second factor is the type of phone you have. 

Some phones have better signal strength than others. The third factor is the number of bars on your phone. The more bars, the stronger the signal. And finally, the fourth factor is the type of service you have. If you have a 3G or 4G connection, you’ll likely have a stronger signal than if you have an older 2G connection.

Testing your signal strength with decibel meters

A decibel meter is a useful tool for measuring signal strength on your cell phone. You can use it to find out how strong or weak your signal is, and compare it with other signals in your area. 

For example, the GSM Association has a recommended level of -75 dBm as the minimum bar level at which calls will not be dropped. The decibel reading should be measured in various locations around you to see where the best place is for your cell phone signal.


In general, the higher the number in decibels, the better the signal strength. Anything above -50 dBm is considered a good signal. However, keep in mind that other factors can affect your signal strength, such as weather or topography. If you’re having trouble getting a good signal, try moving to a higher ground or use a cell phone signal booster.