Finding out how to track the closest tower to your cell phone is a good idea for two reasons. If you are travelling, it can help you avoid roaming charges to be able to update your cell phone to the nearest tower. If you are thinking about switching carriers, it's good to know what kind of reception you can expect where you live. While almost all cell phones automatically update the towers they use when they are turned on these days, many cell phones are never really turned off (and then turned back on) so knowing how to track the closest tower manually is a good skill to have.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Cell phone
- Internet access
Go to AntennaSearch.com (use the link in the resources below).
Enter in the address information for the area you wish to check. If you are trying to locate towers in a location that is new to you, pick a central location and find a business address near it and use this to help search. Press "Go" to start the search.
Copy down the information. Note the location of the towers and which cell phone providers have antennas on that tower (not all towers support all providers). Also note the location of antennas. Antennasearch.com will find antennas within 4 miles of the address you listed. These antennas are often on towers but may also be standalone antennas to broadcast signals in very densely built areas (i.e. they may be mounted on buildings to help reception in cities).
Tips and warnings
- If you are travelling, update your roaming towers list in your phone by dialling *228. This will automatically program your cell phone to use the nearest towers.
- Reprogram your phone by turning it off and then on and dialling *228 when you return home from your travels. If you forget, you may wind up paying for roaming charges.
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