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www.mast-victims.org forum / Technical / 'netmonitor' on GMS phones, to measure signal strength
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Anonymous
# Posted: 14 Nov 2006 18:41
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Try Google-ing for "netmonitor" and your model of cellphone, you may find that there's a secret function (accessed by pressing an obscure combination of keys) to enable this mode.

The mobile phone may then show you which channel and site number it's using, and the received signal strength in -dBm (decibels lower than 1 mW) of the synched site and possibly from a few more nearby.

Good strong service from a cellsite will be anywhere from maximum (anything over -20dBm may be 'off the scale') down to -70 to -80, you're starting to get a bit 'fringe' from -80 to -100 and will probably be handed over to another cell well before that happens, and from -100 down to -110 is extemely marginal for performance, with audio dropouts. -110dBm is the system 'floor' (limit) and a cell won't function below that. If your mobile can't receive any base stations at -110dBm then it will lose connection totally, and may connect to a rival network just to provide cover for 999 calls.

With this Netmonitor feature you'll easily show how the signal right next to a picocell site can easily be 100x (20dB) or more than a typical level around a large obvious cellsite on a 50m lattice tower.

Driving past large local masts like cellsites on TV towers will typically give strengths of between -40 down to -50, seldom higher. But hidden cells in town streets (inside signs, etc) can give readings of up to -20 to -30 if you're right by one, and probably more but my mobile doesn't measure higher than -20dBm - it's off the scale.

This is still far less than the power from a mobile phone right next to your head, though ;o)

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