Surprising Things That Block Your Cellular Signal

Surprising Things That Block Your Cellular Signal

All sorts of things affect cellular signal strength. Some of these are a bit more shocking than others. Most people wouldn’t think glass and thunderstorms are to blame for their poor call quality, but sometimes this is the case. Everything from mountainous terrains to your phone case can affect your cellular signal. Luckily, these causes are easy to fix! Check out this article to find out what’s giving your cell signal problems.

Strain on Bandwidth

If you're someone who constantly leaves apps open and running in the background, you may also frequently find yourself dropping calls. Experts also say the more notifications that apps send you, the more strain they place on your bandwidth. Luckily, fixing this is as easy as closing the apps and silencing unnecessary notifications.

Broken Phone

Everyone has dropped their phone at least once, and this may lead to interior damage. While a case can weaken your signal, so can a broken phone. If you can't find a good signal regardless of where you are, this may be the reason. Take your phone into the shop you bought it from or to a specialist so they can look it over for signs of breakage.

Pro Tip:

The problem could also be your SIM card—they wear out as they age. A phone repair expert could detect this and give you a new SIM card to resolve the issue. Many people recommend contacting your phone service provider if this particular problem is ruining your calls because a lot of providers replace your card for free. You could get that advantage.

Phone Case

Your phone case protects your phone from accidental drops, but some phone skins weaken the cellular signal. This can occur because of the case’s thickness or the material it’s made of. One way to find out what's causing your poor reception is to remove your case and make a call. Then, if you notice your call quality improves once you take the case off, invest in a new one!


The further you are from the nearest tower, the longer the distance the waves sent out by your phone must travel. As the distance increases, the waves weaken, which means poor reception.

You may also notice that you get poor cellular signal in specific areas of a building. In basements, apartments, and some office buildings, cellular signal isn't always great. This is often due to the materials the building is made out of rather than your physical distance from the tower. The good news is, you may be able to resolve this by going to a different room in the building.


This one is particularly interesting. Most people wouldn't think a window can impair their signal because they don’t consider glass as a material that would obstruct anything. However, some commercial buildings have Low-E glass or coated windows—both make the building more environmentally friendly and decrease energy costs. However, this very same coating blocks cellular signals.

Building Materials

Building materials can also block cellular signals. Avoiding this is a bit of a challenge since buildings must use these materials to remain structurally sound. Some materials that hinder signal include

  • Plaster

  • Wood

  • Brick

  • Metal

You could encounter this problem whether you’re in your home, apartment, or office space. One way to determine the cause is to walk around the property and see if you still have the problem. In the event that your signal improves when you get outside, chances are the building materials are to blame.

All Materials Aren’t the Same

Some building materials affect signal more than others. For example, metal holds much more of an impact than glass. Likewise, plywood will impact your cell signal, but not as much as solid wood. Evaluate your space and determine how each building material could affect your signal.


You may find it challenging to get a good cellular signal if you're up in the mountains. This seems odd—you're out in the open, so capturing a signal should be easy. Well, nature is one surprising thing that blocks your cellular signal. This includes the following:

  • Hills and mountains terrains

  • Heavy vegetation and forests