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  1. #1
    B. Peg
    Guest
    Noticed at work friend's NEW cell phone was having difficulty connecting
    and holding a call. His strength meter indicated very good signal (5 out of
    5 I believe).

    I used mine, an old Nokia dog, to call the same number and mine indicated 2
    out of 5 on the signal and I got through at times but it was very marginal.

    We began to wonder if the newer phone's strength meters were optimistically
    set to read high even in low signal areas so the owner would think he is
    getting a strong signal which would prompt a call?

    Anyone know if these things, especially the new ones, are arbitrally set to
    read high?

    B~





    See More: Are cell phone strength meters optimistically set high?




  2. #2
    Notan
    Guest

    Re: Are cell phone strength meters optimistically set high?

    "B. Peg" wrote:
    >
    > Noticed at work friend's NEW cell phone was having difficulty connecting
    > and holding a call. His strength meter indicated very good signal (5 out of
    > 5 I believe).
    >
    > I used mine, an old Nokia dog, to call the same number and mine indicated 2
    > out of 5 on the signal and I got through at times but it was very marginal.
    >
    > We began to wonder if the newer phone's strength meters were optimistically
    > set to read high even in low signal areas so the owner would think he is
    > getting a strong signal which would prompt a call?
    >
    > Anyone know if these things, especially the new ones, are arbitrally set to
    > read high?


    Once again, ...

    One should never look at the number of "bars" as any indication of
    signal strength. They're put there by the manufacturer of the phone.
    One manufacturer might decide that a weak signal deserves one bar,
    while the next thinks two would be more appropriate. Etc., etc. Not
    only is there no standard between manufacturers, there's not even a
    standard between phones from the *same* manufacturer.

    Notan



  3. #3
    [email protected]_nospam.com
    Guest

    Re: Are cell phone strength meters optimistically set high?



    Notan wrote:
    > "B. Peg" wrote:
    > >
    > > Noticed at work friend's NEW cell phone was having difficulty connecting
    > > and holding a call. His strength meter indicated very good signal (5 out of
    > > 5 I believe).
    > >
    > > I used mine, an old Nokia dog, to call the same number and mine indicated 2
    > > out of 5 on the signal and I got through at times but it was very marginal.
    > >
    > > We began to wonder if the newer phone's strength meters were optimistically
    > > set to read high even in low signal areas so the owner would think he is
    > > getting a strong signal which would prompt a call?
    > >
    > > Anyone know if these things, especially the new ones, are arbitrally set to
    > > read high?

    >
    > Once again, ...
    >
    > One should never look at the number of "bars" as any indication of
    > signal strength. They're put there by the manufacturer of the phone.
    > One manufacturer might decide that a weak signal deserves one bar,
    > while the next thinks two would be more appropriate. Etc., etc. Not
    > only is there no standard between manufacturers, there's not even a
    > standard between phones from the *same* manufacturer.
    >
    > Notan


    I agree, the bars are insignificant as a means to explain why you can
    or can't make a call. In some technologies the bars don't represent
    signal strength, they actually represent a generic BER instead. Of
    course the consumer has no way of telling that from reading the manual
    as the manufacturers have to write it to the lowest common user who
    isn't very technical. So they just use the term "signal strength".

    Also the signal strength reading doesn't tell you what the call loading
    is at a particular site. You may have a perfect signal from it, but if
    there isn't enough channels or time slots available for your call it
    won't go through.

    Mark




  4. #4
    DevilsPGD
    Guest

    Re: Are cell phone strength meters optimistically set high?

    In message <[email protected]> Notan <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >"B. Peg" wrote:
    >>
    >> Noticed at work friend's NEW cell phone was having difficulty connecting
    >> and holding a call. His strength meter indicated very good signal (5 out of
    >> 5 I believe).
    >>
    >> I used mine, an old Nokia dog, to call the same number and mine indicated 2
    >> out of 5 on the signal and I got through at times but it was very marginal.
    >>
    >> We began to wonder if the newer phone's strength meters were optimistically
    >> set to read high even in low signal areas so the owner would think he is
    >> getting a strong signal which would prompt a call?
    >>
    >> Anyone know if these things, especially the new ones, are arbitrally set to
    >> read high?

    >
    >Once again, ...
    >
    >One should never look at the number of "bars" as any indication of
    >signal strength. They're put there by the manufacturer of the phone.
    >One manufacturer might decide that a weak signal deserves one bar,
    >while the next thinks two would be more appropriate. Etc., etc. Not
    >only is there no standard between manufacturers, there's not even a
    >standard between phones from the *same* manufacturer.


    True -- However, if you compare the results from the same handset at
    different periods of time, it can be useful (once you get a feeling as
    to how the real life signal quality matches up with the bars)


    --
    Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts
    have no place in organized religion.
    -- Superintendent Chalmers



  5. #5
    [email protected]_nospam.com
    Guest

    Re: Are cell phone strength meters optimistically set high?

    True, but the OP didn't say if it was the same carrier or not. If it
    isn't then it's comparing apples and oranges as the signal strength
    readings wouldn't have any bearing on the ability to make a call.

    Maybe he could clarify with more information like advising us what
    carrier(s) they are on and actually how old his Nokia is. That would
    give us more information were we may not have to assume what kind of
    platform they are on.




  6. #6
    Kevbert
    Guest

    Re: Are cell phone strength meters optimistically set high?


    [email protected]_nospam.com Wrote:
    > Notan wrote:-
    > "B. Peg" wrote:-
    >
    > Noticed at work friend's NEW cell phone was having difficulty
    > connecting
    > and holding a call. His strength meter indicated very good signal (5
    > out of
    > 5 I believe).
    >
    > I used mine, an old Nokia dog, to call the same number and mine
    > indicated 2
    > out of 5 on the signal and I got through at times but it was very
    > marginal.
    >
    > We began to wonder if the newer phone's strength meters were
    > optimistically
    > set to read high even in low signal areas so the owner would think he
    > is
    > getting a strong signal which would prompt a call?
    >
    > Anyone know if these things, especially the new ones, are arbitrally
    > set to
    > read high?-
    >
    > Once again, ...
    >
    > One should never look at the number of "bars" as any indication of
    > signal strength. They're put there by the manufacturer of the phone.
    > One manufacturer might decide that a weak signal deserves one bar,
    > while the next thinks two would be more appropriate. Etc., etc. Not
    > only is there no standard between manufacturers, there's not even a
    > standard between phones from the *same* manufacturer.
    >
    > Notan-
    >
    > I agree, the bars are insignificant as a means to explain why you can
    > or can't make a call. In some technologies the bars don't represent
    > signal strength, they actually represent a generic BER instead. Of
    > course the consumer has no way of telling that from reading the manual
    > as the manufacturers have to write it to the lowest common user who
    > isn't very technical. So they just use the term "signal strength".
    >
    > Also the signal strength reading doesn't tell you what the call
    > loading
    > is at a particular site. You may have a perfect signal from it, but
    > if
    > there isn't enough channels or time slots available for your call it
    > won't go through.
    >
    > Mark


    Just to clarify, You may have good signal strength, but if the signal
    quality (RXQUAL) is poor due to interference from other transmissions
    then calls can easily be dropped. The other thing to bear in mind as
    other messages suggest is network loading, if there are as many users
    as channels available and an emergency call is made, the emergency call
    will get priority and one call will be dropped, this can also happen if
    you're roaming onto a network.
    Cheers
    Kevbert.


    --
    Kevbert



  7. #7
    David L
    Guest

    Re: Are cell phone strength meters optimistically set high?




    B. Peg wrote:
    >
    > We began to wonder if the newer phone's strength meters were optimistically
    > set to read high even in low signal areas so the owner would think he is
    > getting a strong signal which would prompt a call?
    >
    > Anyone know if these things, especially the new ones, are arbitrally set to
    > read high?
    >
    > B~


    As mentioned, different handset makers use various methods to derive
    the displayed signal strength bars.

    A more meaningful test would be to compare phones using the same
    network, frequency and the exact same tower.

    Using the same phone, after a while, the bars will often give
    relatively useful signal strength measurements, and often not!

    One good example is a rural hilltop location where I go hiking. I got 4
    bars digital signal strength, yet it was impossible to make a call.

    The reason was the tower was too far away for the handset's limited
    power of around .5 watts, to reach back, in order to complete the two
    way call loop.

    A tower is able to output much more power, so the phone can "see" its
    signal.

    [IIRC, I read a tower is capable of over 10 watts output. Something
    like 14 watts max. Not sure if this is digital or analog max.
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.]

    If one is interested in more useful signal strength readings, they
    should find the programing code to get into the "debug" menu and read
    the "TX" (outgoing) and RX (received) signal strength numbers, as
    displayed in -db levels.

    Funny thing, after trying to connect for many years on this rural hill
    top with VZW digital, the only way to make a call was in forcing analog
    or by forcing my phone to use the Sprint network.
    Then one day (using the same phone) I could connect to VZW digital!

    It's possible Verizon either built a new tower nearby or decided to
    aim/add on the existing tower, so that VZW users would stop roaming on
    Sprint.
    Who knows for sure, but it's nice to see upgrades in rural coverage
    that were once analog only areas.

    I've run into quite a few areas of improved native VZW digital
    coverage, often times in the middle of nowhere. It's pleasing to see my
    monthly subscription, translated into measurable local network
    improvements, after reading about the billions spent in network
    upgrades.

    -
    David




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