Whenever we think about having full bars and a stable cell phone signal, we think of well-populated areas. It makes sense that cell phone companies build towers in areas where the signal reaches many people. However, you may notice that sometimes your signal is far weaker than it should be, even in a populated area. If you’re curious about why cell phone signals get weaker in cities, this may provide some answers.
We normally think of open, rural areas as having weak cell phone signals, but they can be surprisingly stable if a cell tower isn’t too far away. When you’re in an open field, there’s nothing physically blocking the signal except for some trees or leaves. Even if you’re outside, cities may have cement, drywall, insulation, metal, brick, and plenty of other materials between you and your signal, making it more difficult to connect.
Cell Tower Distance
For some people, it’s unclear what makes for a good cell phone signal. We often assume that being in an area with many people means that cell phone companies would prioritize those areas having a good signal. However, having powerful cell towers in urban areas can be difficult. If you’re near the central district of a city, you may be physically far enough away from the tower to get a weaker signal.
The simple and unfortunate truth is that cellular signals aren’t an infinite resource that everybody can use simultaneously. One of the reasons why cell phone signals get weaker in cities is that if you’re around thousands of people all trying to use the same signal as you, it’s going to be more sluggish. This problem can cause issues in the event of widespread blackouts or natural disasters that knock out the power but have everybody trying to connect using their phones.