Cellphone users across the U.S. are experiencing frustrating reception levels as more calls, texts and data dropped in 2023 than in previous years.
According to a J.D. Power report, Americans experienced 11 dropped calls, text or data out of every 100 times they used their phones, up from nine in 2021.
This statistic affected major carriers, including Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, all of which experienced worse scores in 2023 than two years previously.
Fixing the problem is both simple and complex: carriers just need to build more cell towers, but to do that requires investing billions of dollars.
Cellphone users across the U.S. are experiencing frustrating reception levels as more calls dropped in 2023 than in previous years.
Your cellphone relies on several external factors to ensure your call goes through and doesn’t drop, or the text message you’ve been drafting can be sent when you’ve finished it.
Mobile phones depend on your network provider, the phone’s distance from a cell tower, and the weather to function as it should.
A technology expert, Peter Tran, recently revealed that problems with all three factors are coming together to form the perfect storm that impacts reception.
Speaking about the reason for reduced cellphone reception, Tran told CBS News: ‘It is absolutely possible for a number of reasons,’ adding that while it is a lesser issue, smoke from wildfires can absorb or reflect cell signals, but more likely, is the issue of the number of cell towers not meeting the demand.
Tran said cell traffic throughout the country is increasing, but the number of cell towers isn’t.
Trans compared the issue with traffic, saying: ‘Just like you have car traffic congestion that is going into one lane, it is similar to that where you have over 300 million cell phones in this country coming into just a limited amount of access to the towers.’
Verizon is working to build more cell towers to meet the growing demand.
Carriers are working to build more cell towers and are also buying larger spectrums of frequencies, which gives providers the ability to deliver coverage in multiple areas, Time Magazine reports.
The problem is that issues are rising in areas with growing populations, meaning the existing number of cell towers is no longer sufficient for that area.
Verizon did not immediately respond to Dailymail.com’s request for comment.
But a spokesperson from the company told CBS News in August that they had finished major upgrades that would make a significant difference for cell phone users.
‘Now we are able to take that two-lane highway and make it a 20-lane,’ the spokesperson said.
A report revealed which carrier offers the best network availability
‘Customers are going to see massive amounts of faster data speeds to their mobile phones.’
In some places, carriers are getting pushback from residents who don’t want new cell towers taking up space in their town.
Residents of Beacon, New York have an ongoing petition on Change.org demanding Verizon stop the construction of a 125-foot-tall cell tower in a local cemetery.
The petition argues that building the tower will displace animals like deer, bears, and foxes and put their homes and children at risk.
They also argue that a cell tower in their backyards will put off people’s ability to sell their homes.
‘This cell tower is being proposed as a short-term solution with long-term ramifications and decreased property values falling on us, the taxpayers, and homeowners,’ the petition says.
Aside from waiting for or fighting against new cell towers to go up in your area, cellphone users can take several steps to ensure they are getting the best possible service.
Keeping your phone’s software up-to-date is imperative because it fixes any known issues or bugs in its operating system.
It also improves your phone’s overall performance and functionality, while ignoring the updates can make your phone slow down.
Users can also check their cell plan, some of which have soft data caps – even unlimited plans – which will drastically slow your service down without your knowledge.
Dailymail.com has reached out to AT&T and T-Mobile for comment.