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5 Best Ways to Locate & Map 4G & 5G Cell Towers Near You

Last Updated: May 13th, 2021
By Sina Khanifar

If you’re looking for the very best 4G or 5G data speeds, you’ll need to install directional outdoor antennas to your hotspot or a cell phone signal booster with a directional antenna.

But how do you aim your antenna? You need to know exactly where your nearest cell towers are located.

We read other guides online for finding towers, but most of them were misleading. So we tested a dozen different apps and websites against known tower locations to test their accuracy. Then we boiled that down to a short list: the 5 best ways to find and map your nearest 4G or 5G cell towers.

3 Crucial Tips for Before You Start Mapping Towers

1. Use an Android Phone

Unlike iPhones, Android gives apps programmatic access to signal information. This makes it possible for apps to identify the cell tower you're connected to.

Don’t have an Android phone? Beg, borrow, or steal. Just make sure that it's on the same carrier as you are. For example, if you want to see where Verizon's towers are, borrow a Verizon phone. Same for AT&T or T-Mobile.

2. Try Multiple Apps

No one app we list below has 100% accurate tower locations – they all use different data sources. You will get the most map of nearby AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile towers if you compare multiple options and extrapolate where the towers might be.

3. Calibrate Your Phone's Compass

Before you use any of the apps we suggest, it is important to check that your compass is calibrated. On Android devices you can do this by opening Google Maps, tapping the blue dot showing your location, and then selecting “Calibrate Compass.”

Okay, with those tips out of the way, onto the good stuff ...

5 Best Ways to Locate & Map Your Nearby Cell Towers

5. Network Cell Info Lite (for Android)

Difficulty: Easy Accuracy: 70%

This highly-rated free Android app uses crowdsourced 4G and 5G tower location data from Mozilla Location Services.

Once you open the app, go to the "map" tab. You’ll see nearby towers, and the app will draw a blue line to the tower you’re connected to.

Tapping on the tower will show you the tower’s identifiers. You can find a huge trove of other data, such as eNodeB ID, PCI, signal quality (SINR) and neighboring cell details on the other tabs.

Although Network Cell Info Lite can give you a good indication of the tower direction, in our testing we found it to only be about 70% accurate. Sometimes towers were off by a little, and sometimes by a lot.

4. OpenSignal for Android (but not iOS!)

Android App:
Difficulty: Easy Accuracy: 70%
iOS App:
Difficulty: Easy Accuracy: 20%

OpenSignal is a crowdsourced cell tower and coverage map that uses their own proprietary crowdsourced dataset. Tower locations are computed by triangulating from user-contributed signal readings.

Download the app, and select the fourth tab with the "arrow" icon. Once there, you click on the "Cell Towers" button and a page will open showing nearby towers and with a blue line to your connected tower. The app also lists the best networks in an area based on crowdsourced internet speeds data.

Please Note: The OpenSignal iOS app is much less accurate than the Android version. This is because iOS doesn’t give apps access to signal or cell tower data. As a result, the OpenSignal tries to guess that information on iOS devices, and those guesses aren’t generally accurate..

3. CellMapper.net

Difficulty: Medium Accuracy: 80%

One of the most accurate sources of cell tower locations is CellMapper.net, which uses a crowdsourced database of 4G and 5G tower locations.

Unfortunately the site can be a little confusing to use. A few tips:

  • Red tower locations are unconfirmed, green towers have been physically identified and confirmed by a contributor.
  • If you have the ENodeB ID of a tower, you can use it to search under the "Tower Search" section of the sidebar. Some apps (like Network Cell Info Lite) will show this identifier as "ENB." The Cel-Fi GO X shows the ENBID of the tower it is currently booster in the "Advanced" section of the Wave app.

There is also a CellMapper Android App.

2. Wardrive

Difficulty: Hard Accuracy: 100%

The definitive way to find your nearest cell tower is to sniff it out manually using a process called "wardriving."

To wardrive, you need two things: a tower identifier (PCI or eNodeB ID) and a signal strength reading. It's much easier to get this information on an Android phone. Only some iPhone models with an Intel modem chipset let you access tower identifier and signal strength data.

Check out our Guide to Wardriving to Find Cell Towers to learn more.

1. Use a Combination of These Options

No one of the first three app/website based options we've listed is 100% accurate. But trying all three of them, and comparing the results, will give you an idea of where your nearest tower is.

Once you have an idea of the approximate location, jump in your car and follow our Guide to Wardriving.

Wardriving is the only way to be 100% sure of the location of your nearest tower.

Why Aren't There Accurate Maps of Tower Locations?

Unfortunately, there's no government regulation requiring carriers to publicize their 4G or 5G tower locations.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the body that regulates cell carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile here in the US. Their rules only requires those carriers to register towers that are over 200 feet tall. Most cell sites don't reach that height. In fact, these days many newer towers are attached to light poles or are placed on top of buildings.

Carriers aren't willing to publish maps of their towers unless it's specifically required by law. None of the three main carriers has any kind of tower map published online.

Tools We Tried But Don't Recommend

  • Cell Towers by Birdie: This app doesn't provide accurate data in the US.
  • AntennaSearch.com: This site relies on FCC data. The FCC only includes data for towers over 200 ft in height. Less than 50% of towers are registered as such, making this site quite inaccurate. FCC registered towers also only show ownership details, not which carriers are using it. It also hasn't been updated in years.
  • Cellular Network Signal Finder on iOS: Again this app doesn't provide accurate locations for towers, due to the restrictions iOS places on tower data.
  • CellReception.com Tower Finder: Similar to AntennaSearch, the data from this site is based on FCC tower information, which isn't accurate.
  • LTE Discovery: We like a lot of the features of LTE discovery, but their cell tower maps aren't accurate.
  • Cell Tower Location Tracker on Android: In our tests this app had very little tower data.
  • Cell Tower Locator used to be one of our recommended options, but we removed it recently.

Have more questions? Found a better solution?

Have more questions that we haven't covered here? Or have a tip on an app we should try? Please leave a comment or reach out to us!


  • Mike H says...

    It’s sad to see you don’t think Cellmapper is useful; it literally is mapping towers the entire time the app is open. and for locales with people who care about accurate data, the users can go and manually confirm the location of a tower, and map themselves to create more crowdsourced data. The functionality of this app/website is unparalleled but indeed you might need to take a bit more time to understand how to use it effectively.

    On June 13, 2020


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