Our cell phones have become our lifelines. However, do you truly understand all the systems that power this incredible piece of technology? In case, you do not have a telecommunications background, the answer is probably no. Here’s a blog to help you know more about cell phone towers and how the systems work when you are trying to make a phone call with your SIM.
What is meant by a cell tower?
Strictly going by the definition, a cell tower is a place where all the telecommunications equipment, antennae and other systems are mounted. This tower helps all the mobile devices in the surrounding areas to place a phone calls. These establishments are usually built and maintained by cell phone tower companies, working hand in hand with network service providers, such as Airtel and others.
If you look a bit, you will realise that cell towers are basically all around us. The larger the number of people, the more cell phone towers will you see, since you need more equipment to facilitate a smooth network service. Naturally, you will also find much larger concertation of cell phone towers in urban areas as compared to rural ones.
Now let us get into the more technical aspects of cell towers.
How does the cell phone tower work?
India has the world’s second-largest number of mobile phone subscribers, second only to our neighbours, China. Hence, with 1.2 billion subscribers, it is of paramount significance that the cell phone towers are always there to meet the demand that is generated. Whenever you are using a phone, it emits an electromagnetic radio wave. This wave, also named radio frequency, gets received by the nearest cell phone tower’s antenna.
Upon receiving the signal, the tower then sends the signal to a nearby switching centre. The switching centre then takes your phone call request and patches up with another cell tower to make sure that you call finally gets connected.
While the entire process may seem quite hectic to you, it only takes place within a few seconds.
Types of cell phone towers
There are four different types of cell phone towers that you can find. Here’s a deeper insight into them:
The Lattice Cell Phone Tower
These towers are also known as self-supporting towers. They are quite flexible in nature and have 3-4 sides with similar-looking bases.
The Monopole Cell Phone Tower
Usually built under a height of 50 metres, the monopole tower definitely takes up after its name. It is made of a single tube, which is constructed out of concrete or steel. The antennae of this tower are attached externally.
The Guyed Cell Phone Tower
The Guyed cell phone towers are considerably much more cost-effective than the other options mentioned here. However, they do tend to take up higher amounts of land. They are built at a height of 100 metres, and sometimes, even higher. The whole tower is connected by guy wires, which are put up to provide support and give better anchorage. They are fixed to the ground from all directions. Most radio and TV towers make use of this form of the tower for transmitting their signals.
The Stealth Tower
The stealth tower is much more expensive than any of the other options that have been mentioned here. These are aimed to make the community better when they are placed in it. As a result, they require a lot more material to ensure they can be hidden in plain sight. While being much more aesthetic, they do not enjoy a high capacity for hosting tenants.
Which factors affect a cell phone tower’s range?
Here are some factors that can come into play:
- The height of the antennas around the surrounding landscape
- Signal frequency
- Transmitter’s rated power
- Geographical location
- Regulatory factors
- Weather conditions
Now, if you are facing some problems with your existing service provider, you should actively try to get to port your SIM card. A SIM port number will help you to shift to a new and better service provider, without having to go through the ordeal of changing your number.
For example, you can shift to Airtel. They have loads of incredible prepaid plans and getting an Airtel recharge is incredibly easy too. Do look into it, if you feel the need to get a new SIM.