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Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 6:02 PM

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.

Common Causes:

  • 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

Solution

  • 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?

Common Causes:

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. 

Solution:

  • 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. 

Phone Damage

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. 

Solution

Rural Areas

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.

     

    5G Speeds

    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

    ChrisZ, AT&T Community Specialist 

     

     

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    1 Attachment

    Community Support

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    2.7K Messages

    5 years ago

    Hi @Moody87,

     

    Thanks for your post. I moved it to our Dropped Calls thread. It has information that will explain why that area you are in is not getting the best signal and what you can do. 

     

    ChrisZ, AT&T Community Specialist 

    Contributor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

    What suggestions do you have to boost signal for my velocity to pick up?

     

    Contributor

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    2 Messages

    5 years ago

    there isn't any bars,, it drops calls, when I got this Samsung they said my problems were over, I want to go back to my HGT it's not the phone it's the service. 

    Contributor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

    Cell coverage is intermittent and regularly drops calls. My phone shows "no-service" in many parts of the city of Boulder. Are there any plans to improve coverage within the City of Boulder or should ATT customers be switching to TMobile?

    Community Support

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    2.7K Messages

    5 years ago

    Hi @delmar5@Sheree6@FoxGarou,

     

    I move your posts to our Drop Calls & Connectivity thread. You will find answers to your questions, troubleshooting information and ways to report possible signal issues in your area. 

     

    ChrisZ, AT&T Community Specialist 

    Contributor

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    2 Messages

    5 years ago

    I have a Samsung Galaxy J3 express. I cant receive or make phone calls or texts when Im at home. As soon as I leave my house I have no problem. Tech support said I needed a new sim card so I replaced it and Im still having the same problem. Can anyone help? Its stressful because my kids have no way to get hold of me since I dont have a land line. Unless Im out of course. I appreciate any help anyone can give. Thank you

    Contributor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

    Please upgrade your coverage in Crystal River, Florida. We are sick of Verizon. If your service was better here, you could gain many customers. Thanks, DW

    Tutor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

    I first stated getting 1 to 2 bars the end of September.  Have spent countless hours on the chat and phone with agents and no luck with increase of coverage.  I have been a loyal customer for nearly 20 years and just soooo frustrated.  Will cost me over $3000.00 to cancel my contract of 5 lines.  I have been told there are 20 towers in my area so confused why I have to live with 1 to 2 bars and ATT cant fix the problem they created.

    Community Support

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    2.7K Messages

    5 years ago

    Hi @delmar5,

     

    Sorry to read of the  trouble you are having with your service coverage. Our teams do not have information if or when service changes will occur. I moved your post to our signal article. It explains what you can do to report this and possible causes of the disruption. 

     

    ChrisZ, AT&T Community Specialist 

    Community Support

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    2.7K Messages

    5 years ago

    Hi @shannonwashere,

     

    Sorry to read of the trouble you are having. This sounds like it might be an issue with the house environment. How they are built can affect the signal. I moved your thread to this read. It will explain the issue. 

     

    ChrisZ, AT&T Community Specialist 

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