What the ways to say that I was in a place without possibility to connect with my phone?

For example in such situation:

Wife: Why did you not answer my call when I called you?"

Husband: "I was in a place without connection"(?) / or "I didn't have connection"

In my language we say: "I didn't have signal /reception /range /coverage" or "I was in area without signal /reception /range /coverage. (I'm not sure about the accurate term of each one of them for translation).

In the meantime I found somethings but I'm not sure about their usage if any:

  • I was in a dead zone for cell phones.
  • I was in radio shadow.
  • I was in a non-serviced area
  • 2
    'Catchy'? No. I don't know where you got that from! The others would all be understood. We'd typically say "I couldn't get a signal" or "a connection" (note the indefinite article). 'An area with no coverage' maybe sounds a little formal but is fine.
    – peterG
    Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 18:47
  • Thank you for your comment. Catchy is my mistake (based on a dictionary) and I omited it. Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 18:54
  • 1
    In my circles, it's usually "I didn't have any service" or "I didn't have any signal"
    – Stephen S
    Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 19:02
  • 1
    @StephenS In my circle it's usually "I didn't have any bars". :) Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 20:05

2 Answers 2


I think I was in a dead zone is a good option in this context.

In my opinion, service is a commonly used word here. I think reception is also common. Coverage is possible, but I think it's not a common option. It sounds closer to the terms outline in your cell phone plan. A signal and a connection are also possible. Range is not really possibly by itself (maybe something like I was not within signal range, but that seems clunky to me).

Here are a few patterns you could follow:

  1. I had no service.
  2. I didn't have any service.
  3. There was no service (where I was).
  4. I was in a place with no service.

There's many, many ways to express this.

I had no bars.

No service there.

I was out of range.

There was no coverage.

I was out of roaming.

There was no signal.

I have Sprint. (jk ;)

The closes tower is like 10 miles away.

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