BlackBerry, like most other mobile phones, uses a bar graph to indicate the current signal strength of your cellular network. If you see five bars on your BlackBerry screen, the network signal strength is excellent while lower number of bars may indicate insufficient or poor signal.
The bars give an approximate idea of the signal strength but, looking at the bars, you won’t be able to determine minor fluctuations in signal that may occur when you move across different rooms in your house or when you accidentally cover the cellular antenna of the phone with your hands.
There’s however an easy ‘cheat code’ that you may use to determine the ‘actual’ network signal strength on your BlackBerry.
Hold down the ALT key on your BlackBerry and type the letters NMLL in the same sequence - the bar graph indicating signal strength will convert into real numbers indicating the exact strength in dBm.
You can key in the same sequence to return to Bar Graph mode. The signal range should be anywhere between – 40 dBm and – 100 dBm for you to send and receive data /calls. The higher the number, the better the signal.
Blackberry and Antenna-Gate
Also, while you are in the number mode, try covering your BlackBerry device with your hands and observe the signal strength – it if drops, it’s the same antenna problem.