How Is The Strength Of A Cellular Signal Measured?

Signal Booster
Signal Booster
Signal Booster
Signal Booster

Nowadays we use different types of cellular devices that require good network connectivity. The network connectivity can be measured by the strength of the signal, and it is measured in decibel milliwatts (dBm). Poor signal strength results in issues like bad call quality, dropped calls, etc. There are multiple reasons for this such as environmental factors like humidity, construction materials, geography, distance form cellular tower, etc. This can be resolved by installing a cell phone service booster. The performance of this device is determined by the signal strength, and in this article, we will focus on its unit used for measurement decibel-milliwatts (dBm).

What Is Decibel-Milliwatts (dBm)?

The signal strength is measured in the unit decibel milliwatts (dBm); it measures power in reference to a milliwatt. It is measured in this unit because it can express both large and small values in a short form. This is useful in the installation of a cell phone service booster because it measures the signal strength at a location, as well as helps to assess the power required to amplify a signal.

The strength of cellular signal ranges from -50 dBm to -120 dBm; -50 dBm is excellent signal strength, and anything below -100 dBm is weak or poor. Keep in mind that as you move away from the cellular tower, the signal strength and the coverage area drops. To give you a perspective, a -20 dBm strong signal can cover an area of 3,000 sq ft. Also, the signal strength rises logarithmically, i.e. for a + 3 dBm increase, the signal strength doubles, and for a -3 dBm decrease, the signal strength is halved.

How To Measure dBm?

Before installing a signal booster at your place, you must measure the outside signal strength, and to get the accurate reading, you must use a signal meter. But you can also use your mobile phone to check the signal strength by putting it in field test mode.

dBm Reading Or Signal Strength

  • -50 to -79 dBm – Excellent signal
  • -80 to -89 dBm – Good signal
  • -90 to -99 dBm – Average signal
  • -100 to -109 dBm – Below average signal
  • -110 to -120 dBm – Poor signal

A signal booster is used when the outside cellular signal strength is -96 dBm to -120 dBm. Because, in this range, you experience drooped calls, spotty connections, and poor network connectivity. However, if you use the device in places with good connectivity, it causes signal overload to its amplifier, and its performance drops. This can be resolved by reducing its gain or power.

We hope that this article clarified your doubts about the unit used for measuring cellular signal strength and the significance of its various values.