All the below summed up as of 4/30/2018
ATT shorter distance from tower to phone Verizon longer distance
You will need to use the maps to determine tower locations and tower needs to be sending signal in your direction and it needs to be transmitting on the band you are using.
How to find a cell tower when traveling in an RV or for that matter when you want to stay someplace and need to have good cell service -----
Websites you can use:
OpenSignal.com Gives you a general idea of weak and good coverage areas near you.
CellMapper.net This one shows the tower and the details of the towers equal very useful
CellReception.com more user friendly
AntennaSearch.com slow and has a lot of information you will need to look through
For Finding TV Towers (keep in mind under 60 miles is reasonable over 60 miles you will suffer from signal attenuation) we use an outdoor antenna to help find the signals but the other half of the story is the tower and it transmit power. There are a lot of variables to consider when traveling from place to place as the signal power tower location etc all play into finding TV stations for Free.
https://www.gps-coordinates.net/gps-coordinates-converter First get your location/coordinates
http://otadtv.com/tvtower/index.html Next scroll down to enter coordinates then find towers
https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps this link you put in your Zip Code
Apps for your Phone:
Network Signal Info
Phone App Meteor
Signal Check Light
Try them out and find the one you like
The maximum distance between a cellphone and a cell tower depends on many different factors. The connecting technology, landscape features, the power of the transmitter in the tower, the size of the cellphone network cell and the design capacity of the network all play a role. Sometimes the celltower transmitter is set to low power on purpose so that it doesn't interfere with neighboring cells. Often hills, trees or buildings interfere with transmission. Any of these factors might prevent you from getting a signal, even if a cell tower is quite close.
A cell-phone carrier typically gets 832 radio frequencies to use in a city each cell has about 56 voice channels available. in any cell, 56 people can be talking on their cell phone at one time
There are two common frequency bands that all cell phone carriers use. The Cellular band commonly referred to as 1900 uses the frequencies 1850-1990 ATT. The other band is PCS which is the 800 MHz band uses frequencies in the 824-894 range Verizon. Most of our cellular phone signal products work on one or the other.
To see the signal strength reading on an iPhone running iOS 11 or later, follow these steps:
1. Dial ⚹3001#12345#⚹ and hit the Call button: This will put your iPhone into Field Test Mode.
2. Tap Serving Cell Measurements scroll down to Measured RSRP. To exit the test mode hit the HOME button
For droids it can be found under Signal Strength
The strength will fluctuate even when you are stationary. One cause is the User Load on the tower the more people connected to one tower the weaker the signal then data usage also pulls from the tower causing the signal to weaken more. Because of shifting usage loads, signal strength from a cell tower to your phone is constantly changing. If your cell signal is −95 dBm, you can usually make a call without any problems. If your −95 dBm signal fluctuates down to −100 dBm because of the load on the tower, you might drop the call for a moment, but be able to redial and resume in a few seconds.
-50 -65 = Excellent
-79 to -65 = Good
-89 to -80 Ok
Cell phone signals are measured in decibles aka DBM. Which are radio waves cellular devices operate at and within this standard:-50 dBm to -120 dBm frequency.
Different frequencies carry different distances. Carriers that use the 800 MHz frequency range can broadcast their signals more than twice the distance of carriers that use 1900 MHz frequencies. There are only so many FCC licenses available for each band of frequencies, and when they are all claimed, carriers have to use other frequencies. 800 MHz also has better penetration capabilities than 1900 MHz, so cell signals in buildings may be stronger with 800 MHz.
CDMA broadcasts farther than GSM. In the United States, Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular use CDMA, while AT&T and T‑Mobile are GSM carriers; in Canada, Bell, Telus, and SasTel are CDMA carriers; Rogers, Fido, and Wind use GSM. (This, by the way, explains why you can’t take your Verizon phone and activate it on AT&T’s network: Every cell phone has a radio that works either on GSM or CDMA, but not both…usually.)
ATT 3G : 850 MHz Cellular, Band 5 (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE). 1900 MHz PCS , Band 2 (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE). 850 MHz Cellular, Band 5 (UMTS/ HSPA+ up to 21 Mbit/s). 1900 MHz PCS , Band 2 (UMTS/ HSPA+ up to 21 Mbit/s). 4G : 700 MHz Lower B/C, Band 12/17 (LTE). 850 MHz Cellular, Band 5 (LTE). 1700/ 2100 MHz AWS, Band 4 (LTE). 1900 MHz PCS, Band 2 (LTE). 2300 MHz WCS, Band 30 (LTE).
Verizon 3G : 850 MHz, Band 0 (CDMA). 1900 MHz PCS, Band 1 (CDMA). 4G : 700 MHz Block C, Band 13 (LTE). 1900 MHz PCS, Band 1 (1xRTT/ EV-DO/ eHRPD). 1900 MHz PCS, Band 2 (LTE). 1700/ 2100 MHz AWS, Band 4 (LTE).
TMobile 3G : 1900 MHz PCS, Band 2 (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE/ UMTS/ HSPA+). 4G : 1900 MHz PCS, Band 2 (LTE). 700 MHz Lower Block A, Band 12 (LTE). 1700/ 2100 MHz AWS, Band 4 (UMTS/ HSPA+/ LTE).
One way to overcome poor tower signal due to distance would be to get a booster however if the tower is busy the booster will not increase the availability on the tower. A tower getting heavy use will just be slow until the usage drops.
Cell phone signal boosters are powerful devices that reach the cell tower, pull in the signal, amplify it up to 32X, and then rebroadcast the boosted signal so you have fewer dropped calls and lost connections, and you get faster data uploads and downloads in weak-signal areas
Best of luck as you work through these numbers and try and determine what will work best for you. If you can afford to have one phone on ATT and another phone on Verizon that would as of this writing be the best option. A work around would be to get a Verizon phone and a cheaper phone that uses the ATT towers for signal. You will need to research to verify but as of this writing Cricket uses the ATT network at a much cheaper price.