Easy ways to find your nearest Cell Phone Tower in Africa

Easy ways to find your nearest Cell Phone Tower in Africa

Written by Dominique Sieweke
19th. Aug, 2021

5 Easy ways to find your nearest Cell Phone Tower in Africa

There are many factors that contribute to poor cell phone reception, it can range from the materials used in your building, to your distance from your nearest cell phone tower. Identifying how far you are situated from your nearest Tower can help you pinpoint what is perhaps causing the distorted signal and assist in figuring out what solution would be best for you to improve your signal.

In this blog we explain six easy methods you can use to locate your closest cell phone tower.

Websites: Cellmapper

cell mapper

This website tool is free to use and works in most countries around the world. You simply put in your postal code and the site will display all the nearest Cell phone towers to your location. The website is fairly easy to use but can be a little tricky to navigate at first. But once you do, it is a great tool for finding Towers.

CellMapper provides relatively up to date information, but there is no way to verify its accuracy. Service providers are constantly adding and subtracting service on cell sites, this makes it challenge to provide accurate information.

However, this is a powerful tool that we recommend you try out.

Network providers

Network providers should be able to confirm if there is coverage from their network in your area. You can either call them or navigate through their resources on their website to obtain more information. Your Network provider may even have a coverage map to assist you. Coverage maps are easy to view but are unfortunately very vague. They do not show the cellphone towers but rather the area coverage of the network. This map does not show signal strength and can only provide rough information, you may find that your location falls under an area that is covered but your signal strength is still weak.

Therefore, it is important to locate your nearest Cell Phone Tower and not your area coverage.


open signal app

Apps can provide a simple way of finding your closest network towers. They use your location and then map out the closest tower. It’s hard to confirm their accuracy, but it's a handy tool to have, as it gives you a rough overview of where the nearest tower is located.

OpenSignal (Recommended): For iPhone | For Android

Cell Towers (Locates Signal for All Networks): For Android

Network Cell Info (Highly Recommended): For Android

AntennaPointer : For Android

OpenSignal has a compass that points in the direction of your network's cell tower and has a cell tower map.

Both Cell Towers and Network Cell Info are powerful, detailed, and user-friendly enough to show the best cell service in your area. They are highly recommended apps used by most professionals.

network information

While these apps don’t exactly show you how to boost network signal on Android or iPhone, they’re fairly accurate in determining the general location of your tower and providing information about the quality of signal strength in your area.

Your Smartphone's Antenna (Highly Recommended Method)

Using your cell phone’s built-in antenna provides an accurate reading of your signal. Cell phone signals are measured in dBm (decibels). All cellular devices operate within this standard: -50 dBm to -120 dBm frequency.

-50 dBm is considered full strength (full bars). -120 dBm is considered a dead zone (no service).

However, it's up to each network to define which dBm range correlates to the number of bars.

Simply put, there's no industry standard to dBm signal strength and the number of bars. What's 1 bar on one network provider, could be 3 bars on another, however receiving signal and performing at the exact same speeds.

Your number of bars is subjective across all networks!

But dBm readings are not subjective. They're pure science and math. The closer you are to -50 dB, the better your signal. The closer to -120 dB, the worse your signal. And your smartphone has the native ability to display dBm readings.

How to Access Your dBm Signal (Field Test Mode):

For iPhone Users

Unfortunately, Field Test Mode is not supported on iPhone7 and higher versions.

Starting with iOS 11 and 12, Apple has hidden dBm readings in iPhone field test mode. However, depending on your iPhone chipset (Intel or Qualcomm) and your network (Vodacom, MTN or Cell C), there’s a slim chance to find your dBm readings through this workaround.

Here’s how:

iPhone with Intel chipset (iOS 11 & 12)

  1. Dial *3001#12345#*

  2. Tap LTE.

  3. Tap Serving Cell Meas.

  4. Your dBm is read as rsrp0.

For any iPhone pre-iOS 11

  1. Dial *3001#12345#*

  2. Swipe down notifications bar.

  3. Your dBm is in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

If you’re unable to find any of these options during your field test mode process, you most likely have an incompatible network and chipset. The next best method is performing a speed test around areas inside and outside your home. But once we crack the code on dBm readings on your iPhone, we’ll update as soon as possible.

For Android Users

Field test mode on Android varies by phone model and Android OS version. However, it is generally found under the Settings menu.

Typical sequence:

  1. Tap Settings

  2. Tap About Phone

  3. Tap Status or Network

  4. Tap SIM Status

Your dBm is under Signal strength

Once you have your dBm reading through field test mode or app, walk around inside and outside the perimeter of your home. Make note which areas get the best dBm reading. This shows you the general direction of your cell tower and which rooms inside your home have the best reception.

5. Use a Signal Meter to Find Your Cell Tower Location (Best Results)

While using your phone in dB mode is generally a good way to find signal for most people, if you're an installer, contractor, or pro who really wants to be accurate, then getting a signal meter is a no-brainer.

It's a handheld device that pinpoints all 3G & 4G frequencies & bands, displays signal strength in dBm, and accurately gives cell tower direction within a 45 to 90-degree spread. It's a worthwhile investment for professional telecom users.

How May We Help You?

Bolton Technical: The Trusted Name in Boosting Signal

With so many options, which is the best solution for you? Bolton Technical always has the answer. Depending on the size, scope, and situation, the experts at Bolton Technical can tailor a custom solution for you in time, in budget, and professionally installed.

Services Bolton Technical Africa provide:
  • Floor plan analysis with detailed heatmaps & coverage expectations.

  • Consultation adhering to your requirements and budgets.
  • Equipment selection from only the best.
  • Site survey from certified wireless technicians.
  • Complete professional passive DAS installation & expert project management.
  • Contact us today to get the best solution for improving your 4G cellular signal indoors.
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