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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

    Contributor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

    I am frequently getting a no service notice on my phone and am unable to turn on WIFI calling.  I have a brand new phone 8plus.  I had hoped this new phone wouldn't have the same connectivity issues as my last phone, but alas that's not to be.  

     

    Contributor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

    Network coverage

     

    ATTHelp

    Community Support

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    207.4K Messages

    5 years ago

    Hello @brebac,


    I certainly can understand your desire to retrieve consistent services. I would be more than happy to address these issues and find the best possible option!


    A great tool we offer to help troubleshoot all errors is out Device Support Center. We have many networking tips and tricks which can benefit you. Log in, select your device and there is a Fix It option located on the bottom of the webpage. 


    If these issues still occur I would love to take a deeper look into some options for you. If you can please message us @ATTCares, I would be happy to reach out to you and locate what may be occurring with your device. We can work together to best troubleshoot this!


    Have a wonderful day!


    James, AT&T Community Specialist

    Contributor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

    No wireless service.  No signal. att tower is 4 miles away????

    Tutor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

    iPhone 6s+ and LG K20.  East Berne NY. Sudden signal decrease in the area.  Was poor to begin with but should be amplified using booster. Now the signal is so low that  the booster no longer can find it. Since about end December.

    Tutor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

    located in the hart of Doral,Florida business district. ATT signal was lost January 3 2018 on most cellular phones.

    All ATT trouble shooting came back showing no problem at all.

    we have no service , very bad situation ..we lost hope, ready to change provider.

     

     

    Tutor

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    3 Messages

    5 years ago

    My entire neighborhood is complaining that AT&T internet and wireless service has degraded and we are looking for better service options.

    We are in the far North West area of Stockton California (95219). All of the homes were built after 2003. There is a pending new development that will add over 2000 more homes. 

    Throughout our area most ATT customers have 1-2 bars and often get "No Service". Even our local AT&T store uses a MicroCell tower. Some people fought for individual microcell towers for their homes as service has worsened. But now AT&T will no longer provide/support them. We are told to use Wi-Fi calling from our homes. That works for the Xfinity Internet customers, but not for the AT&T Internet customers.
    Not only are our smartphones and our tablets nearly useless, but also our "Smart Home" investments are wasted when the Wi-Fi is growing worse and worse. Why would the service degrade in an area?

    Several years ago, some AT&T service workers told us that they were actively hooking up AT&T fiber to our neighborhood. They physically showed my husband the "fiber" that was being hooked up at the street box. Yet no one has fiber service here. 
    I recently posted a poll in our two community social media groups. More than 30 families reported that they have happily left AT&T and offer recommendations to other providers that give them satisfactory cellular/wireless and or Internet services. More than 60 families said they are unhappy with AT&T. More than 30 families said they are happy with other services. In fact, the only AT&T customers that did not give negative comments about their cellular service have functioning microcell towers. On a separate poll 77% of 54 respondents gave AT&T thumbs down, 1 gave AT&T thumbs up. The remaining all gave other services thumbs up.
    My family has been with AT&T for home and our small business long before it was called AT&T, over 25 years. I am hoping AT&T might see the pending mass exodus in this growing area and be willing to address the problems. If not, there will be many long-standing loyal customers banding together to choose new services. I would much rather resolve this and have happy AT&T customers.

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    3 Messages

    5 years ago

     

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    Contributor

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    3 Messages

    5 years ago

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    Contributor

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    1 Message

    5 years ago

    AT&T your coverage map is majoristically over stated. You detail locations with indications of LTE coverage when there has never been any since LTE came into service. Maybe someone should look into taking this up legally as it is an out right lie.

    I live in Colorado and for the past 5 years after the service at my house has slowly got worse and worse to the point now during busy times of the day I can’t even make a call. I have been submitting data through the mark the spot application frequently. Not once have I seen anything useful out of it or any improvements. Looking at news through the app the last service coverage improvement was years ago and the in all the news listed there has been no improvements in Colorado.

    i have no idea how AT&T managed to pull off the sale of First Net to all states because if I was in charge of Colorado I would ha e said “no way, the coverage is useless”.

    When are we going to see some cell coverage love in Colorado??? We have masses of people moving into the state, this is an opertunaty for you AT&T!!!

    Biuld the network and the customers will come.... don’t expect people to just accept poor service and live with it because we will not!

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