Dropped Calls & Low Signal - Technical Support From The AT&T Community
Learn about some of "the science" behind the cell signal
Science. It is what allows you to make calls, text, stream, games, surf the web, and use apps on your device. It is also the reason why your service may not work as intended. Below is a crash course that goes over scenarios I have personally experienced and discovered during my time helping our AT&T Customers.
First, some quick fixes
|Toggle Airplane mode||this will refresh your connection to the tower|
|Power cycle your device||This can clear up backend functions that could be causing issues|
|Reinsert your SIM||sometimes it is dislodged. I know, now all phones have SIMS now|
|Things happen, check for an outage/ maintenance||Select mobility and enter your address|
Signal Loss - Is It Us or Something Else?
Environmental Factors - Dead Zones
At my sister’s house, there is one spot where I never get calls or texts. If I move 5 feet away from that spot, boom, everything works. Sound familiar? This is known as a dead-zone and caused by the environment of your surroundings. Unfortunately dead-zones, in homes or offices, are beyond AT&T's control.
- The material used to build the home/ office like metal
- Material thickness - the wireless signal can weaken as it goes through different materials/ floors
- Ground elements - sometimes what is in the ground can affect service, like mountainous areas.
- Areas with heavy electronics. They can emit EMI which can affect not only the wireless signal, but Wi-Fi
Move away from dead-zone(s) in your home, near a window or area without electronics.
Consider using Wi-Fi Calling. Please note Wi-Fi Calling must be set up first and activated.
Know your surroundings. Keep an eye out for areas with electronics and either move away from them or turn them off.
Treadmills and Stationary Bikes
I bet you are thinking, seriously? Yes! Almost all electronics emit electromagnetic interference that not only disrupts your wireless signal but your Wi-Fi signal. The bigger the device, like an elliptical, the more interference it produces. I've seen it firsthand. Did you get a new electronic around the time you started seeing issues?
Some electronic bikes use your body to power them and have their own internal power sources. One bike alone may not cause issues but if you are in a gym around treadmills, stationary bikes, and stair climbers, all the EMI created may cause electrical interference. Not just that, but many electronics emit/ use signals in the same spectrum as your phone (picture above). This means the more electronics, the more likely interference from those will cause issues like drop calls and slow webpage loading for example.
Move away from the electronics.
Check out what the FCC has to say.
Unplug new electronics and test
Time of day
Sometimes, during peak times, AT&T may slow down speed to keep everyone connected. Also, if you see a drop in service, or slow speeds, at a specific time, this could indicate another issue, like equipment around you emitting interference. It could also mean something on your device is causing issues.
- Check to see if any devices activate around the time you see service drops
- Restart your device
- Check out causes why your devie may be slowing down
Dropping your phone can damage the components inside. This can affect your calls, texts, and internet experience. Having a case is important and I recommend getting one. A drop can also dislodge the SIM card and permanently damage your phone.
Purchase a case.
Replace your device with AT&T Device Protection.
Secure the SIM card - Learn How!
Reset the network - it syncs the phone with the towers.
Learn about your device's water-resistance rating.
Rural areas tend to have weaker signals. One of the reasons, the distance you are from the towers. This means your home may get a weaker signal compared to the center of town. The reason, the tower may be optimized for town center since more people tend to be there.
Normally, the signal is not an issue in rural areas. But when it is, a key factor to think about is the terrain. If you are in a hilly or mountainous area, you may experience a weak signal, the reason, the signal is being blocked not only by the land, but whatever ground elements are there. You factor in building construction, especially those will metal roofs, you can understand why the signal may be weak.
Is there an outage or something else going on?
|Check for an outage||Network Coverage||Online Device Troubleshooting|
Note: Stores are not able to troubleshoot devices but they can give you options to get another.
AT&T may temporarily slow speeds if the network is busy. This means during peak times, you may see slower speeds. We do this to make sure everyone has the best experience possible.
Other helpful links regarding poor signal
- Your home and signal loss - maybe your home is the problem
- Did your phone recently stop working? Learn if it is related to the 3G Sunset
- Experiencing poor service when you travel? It may be where you are going!
ChrisZ, AT&T Community Specialist
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