Here are a few takeaways about RSSI and RSRP as signal strength measurement techniques for LTE:
- RSSI varies with LTE downlink bandwidth. For example, even if all other factors were equal, VZW 10 MHz LTE bandwidth RSSI would measure 3 dB greater than would Sprint 5 MHz LTE bandwidth RSSI. But that does not actually translate to stronger signal to the end user.
- RSSI varies with LTE subcarrier activity -- the greater the data transfer activity, the higher the RSSI. But, again, that does not actually translate to stronger signal to the end user.
- RSRP does a better job of measuring signal power from a specific sector while potentially excluding noise and interference from other sectors.
- RSRP levels for usable signal typically range from about -75 dBm close in to an LTE cell site to -120 dBm at the edge of LTE coverage.
Last updated: Feb 20, 2019