How To Locate Your Cellular Tower

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Friday, 30 September 2011

tip_of_the_week.png has long been your source for tips, tricks, hacks and suggestions for getting the most out of your EVDO service, and each week we will be highlighting a particularly interesting or popular topic in the "Tip of the Week" feature. To suggest future Tips of the Week, post your suggestions in the EVDO Forums.

EVDOinfo Tip Of The Week #75: How To Locate Your Cellular Tower

Over the last year LTE service with Verizon has expanded rapidly, and a lot of the popular antenna solutions for LTE or WiMAX are directionally based. This means you need to physically aim the directional antenna at the cellular tower to get the best possible reception. So, one of the most common questions that we get asked is "How do I figure out where my cell tower is?", and there are some tools that you can use online to help you figure this out. The sites below can help you get a general idea of the direction you'll need to aim the antenna, and figure out where the best place to mount the antenna is on your home. We recommend using the following tools to help you locate and aim a directional antenna.

Locator Sites:
  • - This site will search within a four mile radius of any address indicating cellular towers. It will not give you the cellular provider, but you can use this to get a general idea of potential towers to aim your antenna at. If you don't find any towers you can just try another address around the area to do a new search. After the results process, click on the "View Towers" button to view the map with the tower locations. Below is a screenshot from a sample search:

  • - This site allows you to look up user reported coverage or search for towers in your area. This can be useful if you'd like to see what others think about cellular coverage in the area. You can also distinguish the providers like Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile. After you input an address you can click on the map to get an idea of the towers of specific providers in your area. Below you'll see a screenshot of a sample search by provider:
Which site should I use?

We actually recommend using both sites in tandem to search for cellular towers to get the most accurate search results. There are instances where may indicate a tower that doesn't, or it could be the other way around. Using both sites together will give you the best chance to figure out exactly where your carriers cellular towers are, helping you figure out where to aim the antenna. If you'd like to get more precise you can use an application like Google Earth, which will allow you to place thumbtacks over the tower locations. You can then use the ruler feature to draw a line and figure out the exact alignment and view that might be blocking the signal.
Mobile App
In addition to the above websites, there is also a mobile application called OpenSignal that is available for iOS and Android devices - of course they also have a website you can use. This app can not only provide a map with cell tower locations, but it also includes a handy compass that points you in the direction of the cell tower you're connected to.
Left: Tower Compass & Signal Strength; Right: Tower Location Map
As always we also recommend following are "Will An Antenna Help Me?" guide prior to purchasing equipment to determine if the antenna will help you. 

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 February 2015 )
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