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Why Your Cell Phone Keeps Dropping Calls and How to Fix It

There are few things more frustrating than being mid-way through a cell phone call, only for it to drop. Sometimes it isn’t an important conversation, but other times you’ve been on hold for hours, or you’re being interviewed for a new job, or even scarier, you’re in an emergency situation.

Thankfully, the majority of cell phone problems are caused by only a limited number of possibilities, like distance from a cellular tower, physical obstacles in your local environment, or problems with the phone’s hardware or software. We'll cover all of these causes and how to fix them in this article.

Distance from the Tower & Dead Zones

Cell phone dead zone problems

The Problem:

You’re stuck in a dead zone. Your cell phone isn’t showing any bars. You move a little, but still can’t get anything.

The Reason:

Dead zones are caused by a few different things, including a lack of cellular towers, improperly aligned cellular towers, and physical landmarks that obstruct cell signals. In remote areas, there are large dead zones because there are fewer cell towers.

Additionally, particular locations might be dead zones because otherwise strong or decent signal is obstructed by hills, mountains, trees, or large buildings. Finally, dead zones are frequently found underground, in places like subway lines, basements, and parking garages.

The Solution:

This one is tough because there is not much you can do to control this problem. Sometimes getting outside or getting out of an underground location can help. Sometimes looking around in your immediate area and moving past a large building, mountain, or tree can restore enough signal to your phone.

But if signal is consistently bad in an area, a vehicle cell phone signal booster or building signal booster can extend the distance you can be from the cell towers, but may not be able to completely solve your problem, if the dead zone is large enough. If you live or work in an area which has non-existent signal even outside the building, then a cell phone signal booster will not be able to help you.

Building Construction Materials

Construction material problems for cell phone service

The Problem:

No one in your house or office building can get a cell phone signal when they are inside, even though there is good signal outside of the building. When you’re inside, your phone often shows that it has weak signal and is dropping calls in many locations. When you’re outside the building though, your signal is stronger and calls go through. Many times, people in your house or office have to go outside to make a call, which is inconvenient enough on a nice day, but is absolutely miserable on a bad weather day.

The Reason:

The materials used in a building can impact your cell phone reception. Common building materials like sheet metal, wire mesh, reinforced concrete, and even certain types of insulation can cause weak signal or a complete loss of signal.

The Solution:

For this situation, a cell phone signal booster is your best option for improving the cell phone signal inside the building, which will also reduce or eliminate the number of dropped calls.

Similar to a vehicle cell phone signal booster, a building cell phone signal booster takes a usable cell phone signal, which is usually found outside the building, amplifies it, and then retransmits it to an area that needs better coverage. The booster bypasses the cause of poor cell signal and provides quality signal to the area in need. You can also browse our signal boosters for homes and office buildings, signal boosters for large buildings, or even request a custom signal booster design. You can also check out our bestsellers.

Mobile Device Issues

Broken cell phone signal issues

The Problem:

No matter where you are or what you're doing, you're still experiencing dropped calls and poor cell quality. Even worse, no one around you seems to be dropping calls as often as you are, even though they have the same carrier and use the same brand of cell phone.

The Reason:

Your cell phone itself can be the cause for dropped calls. If your cell phone has a broken or damaged antenna, you may experience poor cell phone reception and data loss, in addition to the frequent dropped calls. If your phone’s roaming software does not have the latest update or the software has been damaged, this can also contribute to call dropping. Finally, a cell phone requires power to provide a steady connection during a call, so if your battery is running out, this also increases the likelihood of a dropped call.

The Solution:

Make sure your phone is always fully or mostly charged. Update your phone with the latest software, which it will often prompt you to do. If those things don’t help, talk to your carrier. They will probably have you take it to one of their cell phone stores. There, they have experts who can diagnose and service your cell phone, which means often looking at your antenna or the phone’s software. They can also help you update the software if you’re struggling to do so on your own.

Tower Handoff Problems

Cell phone tower handoff problems

The Problem:

Your phone drops calls when you’re in a specific location, but when you move to a different area, the problem disappears and you're able to make and receive calls without a problem.

The Reason:

If you experience this problem, then you probably have what cell phone experts calls a tower handoff problem. When you make a cell phone call, your phone automatically connects to and communicates with the nearest cellular tower in range. If you move during your call, like by walking or driving elsewhere, then you’ll likely move out of the range of your first tower and instead connect to another tower, which is now the closet one to you. This switch from one tower to another mid-call is called a tower handoff.

For most people, tower handoffs happen without an incident. Unfortunately, sometimes you're located in the middle of a multiple towers that are the same distance away, and issues result from the phone constantly switching between the towers because there isn't a clear "best tower" to use.

The Solution:

 In this case, using a cell phone signal booster with a directional antenna will allow you to target one of the cell phone towers and allow your phone to prioritize that tower over the others in the area. Since the phone now knows what tower to communicate with, the handoff problems should disappear. Check out our home and office signal boosters to see your options, or browse our best cell phone signal boosters for the most popular boosters we offer.


A dropped call can be an extremely aggravating experience, especially if you're doing something important. However, if you understanding what often causes cell phones to drop calls, you can diagnose why it is happening to you and what solutions are available to prevent or eliminate more dropped calls.

If you have any questions about poor cell phone reception and whether a signal booster is right for you, please do not hesitate to contact us at or call us at 1-888-974-8237. We’d love to help you find a solution.