If I turn off LTE, the signal improves substantially to as high as -104db; still not great!

Roaming can cost the user more money, but a phone that has not switched to a roaming mode may not be functioning properly.

By updating the phone, the user will be able to get the best signal possible, whether it is roaming or within a home tower's range.

Below we outline some steps you can take to avoid the frustration of dropped calls and add more bars to your signal. There are many factors that play into your phone’s reception — your wireless carrier, the phone itself, the materials your house or car are made out of, and even your geographic location all play a role in determining your signal strength.

Do your best to narrow it down to which one is causing the most trouble. If you have crappy reception inside your home or office, but it drastically improves whenever you go outside, there’s a good chance that the building is impeding your signal.

Check your network’s coverage map to make sure you’re in a good area.

Just about every card-carrying wireless provider (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile) will offer a detailed map of the areas their network covers.

Despite the fact that more and more cell phone towers are built every day, network coverage can still be spotty depending on your location.

Follow this guide for a quick run-down how to get better cell phone reception no matter where you are, and no matter what kind of cell phone you’re using.

If coverage is spotty in your area, consider switching networks.