Cellular Signal Guide

4G | LTE | 5G Signal Status Reference Guide

It takes a combination of strong signal strength and quality to obtain optimal performance on a cellular device.

It is also important to understand, that the closest cellular tower to a particular location is NOT necessarily the most optimal tower for performance.

There are many variables that can affect signals, their strength and their quality, some of which are noted below:

  • Tower Load or Congestion – too many users on a particular tower and/or band/frequency thereof
  • Proximity to the cellular tower–the closer the tower, the stronger the receiving signals
  • Use of a cellular repeater or booster, which amplifies both signals and interference
  • Competing signals and interference from other towers and/or equipment
  • Physical obstructions (mountains, hills, foliage, buildings, other obstacles)
  • Weather conditions (i.e., rain, snow, fog, wind, etc.)
  • Inadequate or improperly located or aimed antennas
  • Improper Low Loss cables (length, size, ohm, quality) and/or too many connectors or adapters
  • Moisture penetration into cable connectors, improperly weather sealed and protected

This reference guide should help to better classify and rate the receiving signals on a cellular device.


RSSI = Received Signal Strength Indicator. The closer to 0, the stronger the signal. RSSI = Noise + Serving Cell Power + Interference
RSSI Signal strength LTE FIX’S Rating
>= -65 dBm Excellent Premium signal strength
-65.1 to -75 dBm Good Strong signal strength
-75.1 to -85 dBm Fair Marginal signal strength
-85.1 to -99 dBm Poor Degraded signal strength
< -99 dBm Deficient Signals are unstable
RSRP (RSCP) = Reference Signal Received Power is a measurement of the “strength” of the signal received over the full bandwidth
RSRP Signal strength LTE FIX’S Rating
>= -80 dBm Excellent Premium signal strength
-80.1 to -90 dBm Good Strong signal strength
-90.1 to -110 dBm Fair to poor Subpar signal strength
< -110 dBm Deficient Signals are unstable
RSRQ (ECIO) = Reference Signal Received Quality indicates the “quality” of signal factoring in RSSI, block resources and full bandwidth
RSRQ Signal quality LTE FIX’S Rating
>= -10 dB Excellent Premium signal with minimal interference
-10.1 to -15 dB Good Strong signal with moderate interference
-15.1 to -20 dB Fair to poor Subpar signals with moderate interference
< -20 dB Deficient Signals are unstable
SINR = Signal to Interference plus Noise Ratio is ratio of “quality” (strength vs interference & noise) of the connection
SINR Signal strength LTE FIX’S Rating
>= 20 dB Excellent Premium signal with minimal interference
19.9 to 13 dB Good Strong signal with moderate interference
12.9 to 0 db Fair Subpar signals with moderate interference
< 0 dB Deficient Signals are unstable