Why mobile phones don't work in an elevator?

Updated: Aug 7

When we are in the middle of the most important phone call in the world, it ends on a sad note when we accidentally stepped into an elevator. Why?? What has gone wrong?


Let us see first how our cell phones work,

  • Mobile phones work like a two way radio. It is in-built with radio receiver(gets signals) and radio transmitter(sends signals).

  • While having a call, our voice is converted into electrical signals. The phone uses its radio transmitter to send the signals to the closest cell tower.

  • The cell tower in turn receives and send back the coded signals to the person we are talking.

  • Their gadget will convert the received radio waves into electrical signals first and then to our voice.

Let us get back to our elevator scenario,

  • An elevator is made of thick sheets of metal which is stuffed with electronics. On top of that it moves up and down inside a concrete building made of bricks and rocks.

  • Solid stuffs like rock or metal has the tendency to stop the electrical signals.

  • Even there is a super powerful cellphone tower nearby to receive the signals from the phone which is trapped in an elevator, the phone's transmitter is not efficient enough to send the signals crossing the multi layered barriers.

  • This is the same reason for why we are not able to get network coverage in a mountainous region.

Although human invention is taking next level everyday, the sad thing is we cannot do anything about this annoying issue.

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