Field Test App Shows Your iPhone® Device's Actual Signal Strength
Have you ever become increasingly frustrated with your network while you move around a few feet at a time trying to find a spot with a strong signal? Websites may be loading slow, or not at all, or maybe your calls are being dropped. Anyone that has lost a connection to their network has taken a moment to look at the number of bars shown in the top left corner of their iPhone device. The bars show us exactly how much connectivity our phone has to the network . . . or does it?
The biggest issue with relying on the bars as an indicator of signal strength is that there is no industry standard for displaying the information. To most cell phone users, two bars means that you are receiving half the signal strength while three would mean almost full but in reality, these numbers can be way off.
To accurately determine the signal strength of the network is to use a signal strength reading expressed in decibels (dBm) which is a standard unit of measurement.
Luckily, for iPhone device users, accessing your phone’s true signal strength can be accomplished in only a few simple steps.
To get started, you will need to disable your Wi-Fi if it is on or available.
Next, dial 3001#12345#.
Once you dial, you will see a menu pop up. This is a hidden area of our iPhone devices - one that is not intended for individual users but instead for service technicians so the labeling may not be intuitive.
From this menu, you will want to select LTE.
Next, select Serving Cell Meas which will give you measurements from the cell you are currently on.
The next page will be a list of data. Once here, you will notice that the order of the listings will likely change every few seconds as the phone receives new information. Locate rsrp0 from the list, which is the Reference Signal Received Power for the tower closest to you. This number will be displayed as negative and should range from around -40 to -140.
A strong signal will be closer to -40 while anything closer to the -140 indicates the signal is very weak.
Another useful data point is the one labeled RSRQ0 (Reference Signal Received Quality) which is a value derived from both the signal strength and interference.
Once you have completed reviewing the signal strength, you can turn your Wi-Fi back on and hopefully resume normal, uninterrupted browsing.
Want help locating the field test app on your iPhone device? Or is your current iPhone device suffering from what seems like a permanent low signal strength? Visit your local Experimac store; the local Apple® product experts will examine your phone and help you determine what may be causing your service interruptions.