What are cell sites for and how do they work?

We all know that cell sites are present in our daily lives. They are everywhere and are essential for us to communicate with each other. But do you know exactly what their purpose is? Read the following guide to learn more about them.

What are cell sites used for?

Cell sites enable people to make calls and access the Internet. In other words, they create a network that provides signal or coverage so that calls and connections, to whomever and wherever, are made possible.

When a person makes a phone call, the  cell phone connects with the nearest antenna. From there, it communicates with a switch that sends the signal to the nearest antenna or base station from where the recipient is located.

That is why cell phone antennas are critical — since without them, users would not be able to contact each other. In addition, these antennas provide cell phone coverage, which has become increasingly vital.

In places where large amounts of people gather at once, such as soccer stadiums, the connection can be delayed and perceived as being slower than normal, or even lagging.

With the exception of these situations, the range of cell phone antennas and their coverage is considerable. For example, 4G antennas can provide solid coverage for up to 10-12 km,  can link one village to another, and even extend to nearby towns.

It is important to install antennas according to the number of inhabitants. Due to the considerable difference in population density, it is therefore common to find more antennas in bigger cities than in smaller towns.

How does a cell site work?

To understand how cellular networks operate, it’s important to first understand how cell sites — also known as cell phone antennas or towers — work.  After all, we use these antennas on a daily basis to communicate and be permanently connected.

The way cell phone antennas work is simple: as soon as the user dials a phone number on his or her smartphone and presses the call button, the antenna receives the signal. The antenna then processes the phone call and sends the call to the switch. Once there, the call is sent to the new antenna where the recipient is connected and the phone starts ringing. Clearly, the call is connected from one antenna to another. First, the caller’s antenna receives the signal, and then, the recipient’s antenna sends the signal, so that the recipient’s smartphone starts ringing.

Thus, when a voice message says that the recipient’s cell phone is not available, it is because the user is not connected to an antenna with a signal; and therefore, his phone cannot get the call.

How large is a cell phone antenna?

Cell phone antennas, in general, stand out for their size. At first glance, one would think they are not so big since these antennas vary between 30 centimeters and 1 meter long. The truth is that they are usually placed on top of a tower, or on the roof of a building, at a height of 15 to 50 meters. In order to reduce the impact that these infrastructures can have on the landscape, they are often integrated with the environment; Infrastructures that mimic the elements of the landscape, that are designed to go unnoticed.

Cell phone antennas are usually situated at the highest peaks of cities or on buildings’ rooftops. For safety reasons, a distance of at least 6 meters between an antenna and a person is recommended, a condition that is easily met in both rural and urban environments.

Do you have any questions about how a cell phone antenna works, what it is used for and how big it is? Contact APWireless by calling 888-232-2740, or visit www.apwip.com, and one of our directors of acquisition will advise you on your cell site lease.