How to Improve Cell Phone Reception

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

Dropped calls and bad quality are often the result of poor cell phone reception. While there is no free magical fix to poor cell phone reception, there are some things that you can do, and some money you can spend, to improve cell phone reception.

Step 1

Take a look at the terrain you are in. Cell phone reception is usually poor when you're in a valley, surrounded by trees, in between tall buildings or inside buildings. A simple way to get better reception is to physically move to a better location. Get on a flat space on a hill if you are outside of a city. If you are in a city, go outside and away from tall buildings. One of the best places to get cell phone reception is a street intersection because it offers an unobstructed reception area.

Step 2

Turn off other electronics around you. Many electronics, such as computer monitors, appliances and power tools, can cause interference to cell phone reception. Simply turning these off may help your reception enough to make intelligible calls.

Step 3

Keep your battery charged. There are times when your cell phone may have enough power to make a call but not enough power to establish a good connection. A battery that is almost dead is a leading culprit to bad cell phone reception and one that people don't often consider.

Step 4

Buy an external antenna or power booster. This is going to cost you a bit, potentially more than a hundred dollars for an external antenna or a few hundred dollars for a power booster, but it will help reception. This is a good way to improve reception in your car or in your home or office, but it is not portable and you have to physically plug your phone into it.

Step 5

Purchase a wireless amplifier/repeater system. A repeater system can cost several hundred dollars but it does not require a physical connection and can improve reception on several phones at the same time. You can get a repeater system for your car, and they are especially useful in an office where several people may be using cell phones.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't buy cheap internal antennas. These may look like a small card that goes behind your battery and has a small wire in them. It is said that they can double your reception, but many do not make any notable difference.