What is dB Gain in Context of Cell Phone Antenna Signal Boosters?

Posted by on February 12, 2016

DB Gain Meaning Realistically

Always unsure about meaning of the term, dB Gain? Let us explain it to you the dB Gain meaning realistically, in simplest terms. Most people measure the strength of their cell phone signal by looking at the number of bars of service on the phone. That is generally understood as a good guide, but not an accurate one because the number of bars mean different things on different networks. Therefore, a 3 bar signal on Sprint may mean only 1 bar on Verizon, despite the signal being of the same strength and having the same data speed. There is no standard way for cell phones to represent the signal strength. Or maybe there is one - it is called dB gain or decibel gain. dB-gain is the most accurate way to measure the strength of a cell phone signal.

dB Gain and your Cell Phone Signal Booster

The best way to measure the cell phone signal strength is as decibels or dBgain because it is most accurate without flip flops at one time and place. A -50dB represents a really strong signal or full bars and a -110 dB represents a weak or dead signal or no bars. This is pretty much the standard for all cell phones and carriers. This implies that when you're having an issue with poor cell phone reception, dropped calls or unreliable connections, the dB gain must be closer to -110 dB.

What cell phone boosters do, is to boost the dB levels as close to -50 dB as possible, which allows for a much better signal reception and a stronger connection on both 3G and 4G networks. For this reason, cell phone signal boosters are fast rising up the popularity charts as one of the best selling electronic devices in both the USA and Canada.

Here’s how to find the dB on your phone…

It is easy to find the dB on your phone. If you're using an Android phone, go to Settings. There click on "General". Go to "About" phone and click on "Network" or "Status". The dB reading will be made available to you there.

If you're using an iPhone like me, dial *3001#12345#* and press, the green handset "Call" icon. You will be presented with the Field Test mode where you will be able to see the dB reading for your device. Click on the reading and compare with the number of bars – whether it is a full bar or 5 bars, or something lower, such as 4, 3, 2 or 1 bar.

Why dB Gain makes such a difference…

It is important to understand that dB gain is measured exponentially. This means there's a HUGE difference between a +7 and +10 dB gain. The difference of +3 dB gain counts for a lot as it is exponential. A +3dB gain means the signal is twice as powerful. A +10 dB gain means that the signal strength is 10 times more powerful and +20 dB gain means that the signal is 100x times as powerful! The thing to remember here is that dB is measured exponentially, so even the smallest dB gain makes a huge difference. So a cell phone signal booster that offers a dB gain of +80 db is 100x times more powerful than one that offers a dB gain of +60dB. The +20 dB gain is HUGE – 100x times the difference!

Final Thoughts

Just because a signal amplifier promises a high dB gain does not mean you're certain to get a powerful cell phone reception. There are other things to consider such as the distance from the nearest cellular tower, and whether there are any obstructions such as hills, trees, or building materials that cause interference. But the dB gain gives you a very good idea of what to expect with a cell phone signal booster. Have a great day!

Questions? Call us for a FREE product recommendation. Need a cell phone booster installer? We offer installation services by a certified installing team that installs boosters nationwide across USA and Canada. Submit your details for a quote to have your amplifier kit installed by professionals.

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