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2.7K Messages

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

    Contributor

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    2 Messages

    5 years ago

    Why woyld it syddemly be a problem? Ive lived gere 3 years?

    Contributor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

    For more than 3 weeks I lose reception when inside a building and  ALL reception in my home!  I rarely have 4 bars anymore and I used to all the time

    I am wondering if this is a ploy to get me to upgrade?  I love my phone and it works great  the AT&T reception stinks. JUST in the past 3 weeks   What is up?

    Community Support

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    2.7K Messages

    5 years ago

    Hi @momhall1015,

     

    I moved your post of our troubleshooting thread. It goes over why you may be losing signal in your office and home. Setting up Wi-Fi Calling is a great option when environmental factors cause issues with services. 

     

    ChrisZ, AT&T Community Specialist 

    Contributor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

    How can we get att to improve the service in our area?  We love att but service is poor. Compared to Verizon. Please upgrade.  

    Contributor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

     My wife and I can no longer connect to 4g for more than a few minutes near our home in Mt. Gretna Pa. We get kicked and have to restart our devices often. The connection is very weak and slow when it dose work. I have a brand new device and it is no better. Also in the area at my work near Middletown PA the signal is far weaker than before. I upgraded to unlimited and now I can hardly use it.

    Contributor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

    I have bad reception where I live. How can I boost my signal?

    Contributor

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    3 Messages

    5 years ago

    I only have 1 bar through 77450, 77494, and 77449 zip codes.  Doesn’t matter if I’m at home, in Target, at work, or outside.  Always 1 bar.  Started about a month ago.  Has AT&T’s service strength dropped recently in these zip codes?

    ATTHelp

    Community Support

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    207.4K Messages

    5 years ago

    Greetings @Joansy34!


    Dealing with spotty service in your area can be exasperating. I have dealt with these types of service issues in my area as well, and am happy to help!


    Our Troubleshoot & Resolve Tool was designed to walk our customers through step by step instructions to find out what may be causing any issue you may have with the network or your device. For a more personal experience, please login using your myAT&T credentials. Select the device you are using and then click on Phone calls under Service/network issues.


    If you are still experiencing issues with your service, please send us a private message to @ATTCares and please include your account information. By providing these details, we will be able to look deeper into the cause of your service concerns.


    Thank you for reaching out to us here on the Community Forums! Have a great day!


    Jenn, AT&T Community Specialist

    ATTHelp

    Community Support

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    207.4K Messages

    5 years ago

    Hi @WhiteWolfSS,


    I am sorry you are having trouble with your service. I am more than happy to assist with this!


    I completely understand how important it is to have service at all times on your mobile device. The first thing I will suggest is our Troubleshoot & Resolve Tool. Please open this link, then select your make and model of device. Next please select phone calls under Device/ software issues and follow the prompts to troubleshoot. Let me know if you have any questions!


    Have a fantastic rest of your day!


    Geovanni, AT&T Community Specialist

    ATTHelp

    Community Support

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    207.4K Messages

    5 years ago

    Hello @OLranger,


    It can be concerning having to deal with bad signal strength.  I will be more than happy to help!


    One great troubleshooting step is to enable Wi-Fi Calling on the phones. Our Device Support Page has a great step-by-step guide on how to set it up! After choosing your phone’s make and model, please go to View All Solutions > Calling > Wi-Fi Calling.


    I would also advise getting our Mark the Spot App. This great app allows you to report problems directly to our technicians and engineers within the area!


    Thank you for reaching out to the Community Forums! Have an amazing day!


    Katie, AT&T Community Specialist   

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