Field Test 4G Mobile Signal Strength

Want to know if Outdoor 4G Router works for you? Do a simple field test on your mobile phone by use your mobile phone to check the signal quality outside your house.

Step 1
Go outdoor your home or office with your mobile phone.

Step 2
Disable Wi-Fi connection on your mobile phone, then you to see what network you’re connecting to (2G, 3G, 4G, LTE, etc.).

Step 3
Take note of signal bars and the symbol in the status bar of your mobile phone and compare with below chart.

Symbol Mobile Networks Voice Call Internet Speed Email & Notification Video
G GPRS 
(General Packet Radio Service)
Yes 50Kbits/s Yes No
E EDGE 
(Enhanced Data GSM Evolution)
Yes 100Kbits/s Yes No
3G Third Generation
also known as UMTS / WCDMA / CDMA2000
Yes 2Mbits/s Yes Yes
H/H+ HSPA
(High-Speed Packet Access)
Yes 10-100Mbits/s Yes Yes
4G (LTE) Fourth generation or Long term evolution
also known as LTE or WiMax
Yes 100Mbits/s+ Yes Yes
No Symbol If signal bars get more than 1 bar
you can use voice call
N/A No No No

In your mobile phone, you can read signal bars followed by carrier name and network symbol which usually maxes 5~8 bars. To measure mobile phone’s signal reception in exact decibels instead of bars or dots, you can follow step 4 to enter Field Test Mode in mobile phones.

Step 4 – in iPhone iOS 12

i. Go into the Phone app and switch to the Keypad. Dial *3001#12345#* and press Call button. 
It will launch the Field Test Mode app on your mobile phone. 

ii. In the latest iOS 12, tap on Serving Cell Measurements.

iii. Look for Measured RSSI with numerical measurement of the iPhone 4G LTE cellular signal strength in dBm.

RSSI stands for Received Signal Strength Indicator
RSRP stands for Reference Signal Received Power
RSRQ stands for Reference Signal Received Quality

Step 4 – in Android Smartphone

Go to Settings > About Phone > Status > SIM Status and numerical signal strength will be available on either network or status which depends on the model of phone.

You can also use apps to show signal strength in decibels in Android phones.

Remarks:

1) The numerical value of 2G / 3G / 4G H+ networks is RSSI standard which is Received Signal Strength Indicator. LTE network is RSRP standard which is Reference Signal Receive Power. Hence, you need to turn off LTE on your mobile phone before entering Field Test Mode. 

2) Decibel signal strengths will be negative 2~3 digits.  Unit of measurement is dB. If your phone show a number such as 98, the actual signal strength is -98dB. The closer the number is to zero, the better the reception, so -90dB is a stronger signal than -100dB.

Signal bars VS decibel signal strength

Signal Bars iPhone Mobile Nokia Phone
5 > -85 dBm > -91 dBm
4 -85 ~ -90 dBm -91 ~ -101 dBm
3 -90 ~ -95 dBm -101 ~ -103 dBm
2 -95 ~ -100 dBm -103 ~ -107 dBm
1 -100 ~ -105 dBm -107 ~ -113 dBm
0 < -105 dBm < -113 dBm

4G LTE Bands and Frequencies

4G mobile phone networks has two different standards FDD LTE and TDD LTE. Both of them are used to maximize the available bandwidth.

FDD LTE uses a paired spectrum with different frequencies to transmitting (uplink) and receiving (downlink) signals simultaneously. TDD LTE uses unpaired spectrum because the working frequency for transmitting (uplink) and receiving (downlink) is exactly same.

4G FDD-LTE
FDD-LTE Band Uplink Downlink Band Width Duplex Spacing Guard Band
B1 1920 – 1980 MHz 2110 – 2170 MHz 60 MHz 190 MHz 130 MHz
B2 1850 – 1910 MHz 1930 – 1990 MHz 60 MHz 80 MHz 20 MHz
B3 1710 – 1785 MHz 1805 – 1880 MHz 75 MHz 95 MHz 20 MHz
B4 1710 – 1755 MHz 2110 – 2155 MHz 45 MHz 400 MHz 355 MHz
B5 824 – 849 MHz 869 – 894 MHz 25 MHz 45 MHz 20 MHz
B6 830 – 840 MHz 875 – 885 MHz 10 MHz 35 MHz 25 MHz
B7 2500 – 2570 MHz 2620 – 2690 MHz 70 MHz 120 MHz 50 MHz
B8 880 – 915 MHz 925 – 960 MHz 35 MHz 45 MHz 10 MHz
B9 1749.9 – 1784.9 MHz 1844.9 – 1879.9 MHz 35 MHz 95 MHz 60 MHz
B10 1710 – 1770 MHz 2110 – 2170 MHz 60 MHz 400 MHz 340 MHz
B11 1427.9 – 1452.9 MHz 1475.9 – 1500.9 MHz 20 MHz 48 MHz 28 MHz
B12 698 – 716 MHz 728 – 746 MHz 18 MHz 30 MHz 12 MHz
B13 777 – 787 MHz 746 – 756 MHz 10 MHz – 31 MHz 41 MHz
B14 788 – 798 MHz 758 – 768 MHz 10 MHz – 30 MHz 40 MHz
B15 1900 – 1920 MHz 2600 – 2620 MHz 20 MHz 700 MHz 680 MHz
B16 2010 – 2025 MHz 2585 – 2600 MHz 15 MHz 575 MHz 560 MHz
B17 704 – 716 MHz 734 – 746 MHz 12 MHz 30 MHz 18 MHz
B18 815 – 830 MHz 860 – 875 MHz 15 MHz 45 MHz 30 MHz
B19 830 – 845 MHz 875 – 890 MHz 15 MHz 45 MHz 30 MHz
B20 832 – 862 MHz 791 – 821 MHz 30 MHz – 41 MHz 71 MHz
B21 1447.9 – 1462.9 MHz 1495.9 – 1510.9 MHz 15 MHz 48 MHz 33 MHz
B22 3410 – 3500 MHz 3510 – 3600 MHz 90 MHz 100 MHz 10 MHz
B23 2000 – 2020 MHz 2180 – 2200 MHz 20 MHz 180 MHz 160 MHz
B24 1625.5 – 1660.5 MHz 1525 – 1559 MHz 34 MHz – 101.5 MHz 135.5 MHz
B25 1850 – 1915 MHz 1930 – 1995 MHz 65 MHz 80 MHz 15 MHz
B26 814 – 849 MHz 859 – 894 MHz 35 MHz 45 MHz 10 MHz
B27 807 – 824 MHz 852 – 869 MHz 17 MHz 45 MHz 28 MHz
B28 703 – 748 MHz 758 – 803 MHz 45 MHz 55 MHz 10 MHz
B29 N/A 717 – 728 MHz 11 MHz N/A N/A
B30 2305 – 2315 MHz 2350 – 2360 MHz 10 MHz 45 MHz 35 MHz
B31 452.5 – 457.5 MHz 462.5 – 467.5 MHz 5 MHz 10 MHz 5 MHz
4G TDD-LTE
TDD-LTE Band Frequency Band Width
B33 1900 – 1920 MHz 20 MHz
B34 2010 – 2025 MHz 15 MHz
B35 1850 – 1910 MHz 60 MHz
B36 1930 – 1990 MHz 60 MHz
B37 1910 – 1930 MHz 20 MHz
B38 2570 – 2620 MHz 50 MHz
B39 1880 – 1920 MHz 40 MHz
B40 2300 – 2400 MHz 100 MHz
B41 2496 – 2690 MHz 194 MHz
B42 3400 – 3600 MHz 200 MHz
B43 3600 – 3800 MHz 200 MHz
B44 703 – 803 MHz 100 MHz

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