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Posted Feb 20, 2011
3G Signal Strength -- How To Determine

I have 3G in my rural area, thankfully, which I must use at times for smartphone Internet.  Question: is the quality or strength of my 3G signal directly related to the number of "bars" shown on my ATT cellular signal?  In other words, if I move to a part of my house and get 2 "bars" will my 3G connectivity be proportionally lower than a location in my house with 5 "bars?"  Thank you.

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2-20-2011 9:20:08 PM
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The signal bars on a phone only show an approximation of the signal.  There are no standards that define how many bars equates to how much signal.  So the bars can vary between different phone manufactures and even make/models from the same manufacture.

 

Also in 3G it's harder to determine as you can be connected to multiple towers at once.  So in theory you can have a better signal with fewer bars in 3G than you do without.

 

Some (not many) phones have a Field Test mode that will show the signal strength in decibels but that is not 100% as the hardware in a phone doesn't have the capability to do accurate measurements like real test equipment can.

 

 

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3G Signal Strength -- How To Determine

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Feb 20, 2011
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ACE - Master

EWynett wrote:

I have 3G in my rural area, thankfully, which I must use at times for smartphone Internet.  Question: is the quality or strength of my 3G signal directly related to the number of "bars" shown on my ATT cellular signal?  In other words, if I move to a part of my house and get 2 "bars" will my 3G connectivity be proportionally lower than a location in my house with 5 "bars?"  Thank you.


Yes - your 3G/EDGE signal is displayed through the "bars" you see on your device's screen.

 

The lower the number of "bars" you see, the weaker your signal is. If there is a higher amount of "bars", therefore, your phone's signal is stronger. Sometimes, the signal changes constantly. One minute, you may have four "bars", the next, you may have none. It's the way your phone detects and transfers the signal.

:cathappy: Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 :cathappy:



*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Feb 20, 2011
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The signal bars on a phone only show an approximation of the signal.  There are no standards that define how many bars equates to how much signal.  So the bars can vary between different phone manufactures and even make/models from the same manufacture.

 

Also in 3G it's harder to determine as you can be connected to multiple towers at once.  So in theory you can have a better signal with fewer bars in 3G than you do without.

 

Some (not many) phones have a Field Test mode that will show the signal strength in decibels but that is not 100% as the hardware in a phone doesn't have the capability to do accurate measurements like real test equipment can.

 

 

Re: 3G Signal Strength -- How To Determine

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Feb 21, 2011
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Wow. I didn't know u can be connected to more than 1 tower. Id assume if u were connected to more than 1 towers you'd have full bars?
Butinanswering,5 bars isnot 5x better signal than 1.

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Feb 21, 2011
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Tilt-A-Rama wrote:
Id assume if u were connected to more than 1 towers you'd have full bars?

 

Unfortunately no.  The higher number of towers does not directly increase the number of bars.  But it can effect connection quality and reliability (depending on the network backhaul, tower use/saturation, and how many towers in range/available).

 

 

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Feb 21, 2011
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Thank you for the replies.  The answers were as I thought, but it always helps to confirm, confirm.....

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