How Much Power Does a Cell Phone Emit During a Call?

In summary, a cell phone will output power between 100mW and 1W, and you will need to amplify the signal before using it to detect when a phone call is made.
  • #1
amanno
22
0
Hey guys,

Does anyone know about how much transmission power is outputted from a cell phone call? I have read it's around 100 mW (depending on distance from the tower), anyone ever verified this?

I want to try and use the signal created by a phone call (to detect when a phone call is made), so I have a receiving antenna and I am guessing I would need to amplify the RF signal before continueing correct?

I am assuming that a signal with 100mW of output power would be very weak (uW or nW) by the time it reaches the end of my receiving antenna?

Thanks
 
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  • #2
Yes, a phone will adjust its output power between about 100mW and 1W depending on the range to the cell site.

There are going to be some complications. Your cell phone may exchange data with the local cell site even when you are not making calls. Your cell phone may transmit on up to 4 different bands.

Unless the phone is very close, to monitor the activity you will need to use a mixer to down-convert the bands being used to a baseband, then amplify those signals with a receiver chip that generates the usual logarithmic “received signal strength indicator” signal (RSSI). You can then detect when the RSSI exceeds a specified DC threshold that you have set. That will tell you when a nearby phone is transmitting. If you want to avoid autonomous chirps triggering your detector you will need to use a time gate to wait for a minimum time with a continuous signal detected before triggering the output.

To specify signal levels we need to know the maximum distance between the cell phone of interest and your detector's antenna. What is that range?
 
  • #3
Very interesting idea, thank you.

I wasn't planning on the detectors antenna being too far from the phone itself, a couple of feet maybe (3ft). Unless you think it can go farther?

For my own knowledge: why do you need to down convert the bands (lets assume I am only going to use the 1900 MHz band)?
 
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  • #4
If the distance to the phone is significant then many other signals will exceed the phone signal in your detector's antenna. Amplification is obviously then not an option, without some form of pre-selection.

Down conversion is needed to use RSSI.

At three feet I would expect over a milliwatt so you should be able to use a diode detector like in an “RF sniffer” or a “bug detector”. Take a look at the more advanced examples here; http://dx.com/s/bug+detector
 
  • #5


I can confirm that the transmission power of a cell phone call can vary depending on factors such as distance from the tower and signal strength. However, the average output power is around 100 mW. This information is based on studies and measurements conducted by experts in the field.

In order to use the signal created by a phone call for detecting when a call is made, you would indeed need to amplify the RF signal before continuing. This is because, as you correctly assumed, the signal would become weak by the time it reaches the end of your receiving antenna. Amplifying the signal would ensure that it is strong enough for further processing and analysis.

I would also like to mention that the power output of a cell phone call is just one aspect of the overall signal strength. Other factors such as antenna quality and the environment can also affect the strength of the signal. Therefore, it is important to consider these factors when conducting your experiment.

I hope this information helps and good luck with your project!
 

Related to How Much Power Does a Cell Phone Emit During a Call?

1. How does a mobile phone call have power?

A mobile phone call has power because it uses radio waves to transmit signals between the phone and the cellular network. The phone's battery provides the electrical energy needed to power the phone's components and transmit the signals.

2. Why does my mobile phone call sometimes have poor signal and lose power?

Poor signal and loss of power in a mobile phone call can be caused by a variety of factors, including distance from the cellular tower, obstructions such as buildings or trees, and interference from other electronic devices. In areas with weak network coverage, the phone may also use more power to maintain a connection, leading to quicker battery drain.

3. Can using my mobile phone while it is charging affect its power?

Yes, using your mobile phone while it is charging can affect its power. The phone's battery may not charge as quickly or efficiently, and the increased usage can also drain the battery faster. Additionally, using a phone while charging can generate heat, which can degrade the battery's lifespan over time.

4. How does the power of a mobile phone call affect its range?

The power of a mobile phone call directly affects its range. The higher the power output, the greater the range of the call. This is why cell phone towers are strategically placed to provide maximum coverage and ensure that calls can be made and received in a wide area.

5. Can turning off my mobile phone save battery power during a call?

Yes, turning off your mobile phone can save battery power during a call. When the phone is turned off, it is not using any power to maintain a connection or transmit signals. However, if you need to make or receive calls, it is better to put the phone in airplane mode or turn off any unnecessary features, such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, to conserve battery power.

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