Cell towers are vital to cellular communication and in fact, its quality is largely determined by the proximity of the cell tower. We often see the terms “cell tower” and “cell site” being used interchangeably but the terms mean two entirely different things.
What Is A Cell Site?
All the equipment including the building, ground and antenna used for the transmission of cellular signals from the mobile device to the receiver and vice versa are collectively called the cell site. The term usually covers transmitters/receivers, base receiver station (BTS), backup power sources, backhaul connections, and more.
What Is A Cell Tower?
Cell tower is defined as the physical structure that the antennas are attached to. Some cell towers are found to support multiple carriers, enterprise communications and public safety entities. A cell tower is usually owned by a wireless carrier or a third party that leases it out.
What Are The Different Types Of Cell Sites?
Here are the different types of cell sites.
Cell Tower Site
A cell tower is the physical structure designed to support one or more cell sites. It has coverage between 5 and 25 miles.
In a rooftop site system, the transmission equipment and the antenna are mounted on a building’s roof and hence the name. The typical coverage of a rooftop site suaully ranges between 1.5 and 25 miles. The installed equipment is connected to utility power at the site. There is also the backhaul connection that starts from the main telephone demarcation point. In some cases, building owners choose to lease their rooftops to cellular carriers if the building is optimal for a cell site.
Small cells are individual cell sites that have lower size, coverage radius and power than traditional macro sites. Small cells are often used in a network to increase its overall capacity. Their typical small sizes enable small cells to be installed anywhere including rooftops of buildings and utility poles.
The coverage of small cells is between 0.1 mile to 2 miles per node.
Outdoor Distributed Antenna System
A Distributed Antenna System (DAS) can be simply considered a network of antennas that are used to send and receive cellular signals. It is at the hub of outdoor DAS that all the necessary equipment are installed collectively. Antenna locations are fixed in such a way that the entire required area is covered effectively. The antenna locations called nodes are connected with the help of fiber optic cables to the hub.
Outdoor DAS is generally used in areas where installing a traditional tower is tough or impossible due to the zoning regulations that exist there. The antennas are commonly mounted on structures like utility poles.
The coverage of outdoor DAS is between 0.1 mile and 1 mile per node.
Indoor Distributed Antenna System
An indoor DAS has components that are intended for indoor usage and hence the name. The systems offer coverage to parts of a building that aren’t covered by outdoor macrocells. They effectively expand the capacity of the cellular network and reduce the dependence on outdoor systems.
Indoor DAS can be found in large commercial buildings, stadiums and arenas. The signal source could be a small cell, base station or repeater at the head end. The fiber transfers the signal to remote equipment throughout the building where it reaches the end-users through coaxial cables and antennas.
What Are The Different Types Of Cell Towers?
Here is a list of different types of cell towers.
It is the most commonly deployed type of tower today. It is a single tubular mast with antennas mounted on its exterior.
Lattice tower, commonly called the self supporting tower is known for its high stability and flexibility. It usually has a triangular or square shape and is mostly built using steel.
Guyed tower is similar to monopole tower except for the fact that it is stabilized by means of guy wires. Guy towers have been in use in the industry for many years and a variety of its configurations are used in various situations. Their heights range between 40 feet and 20,000 feet for radio and television broadcast tasks.
Stealth tower is often built that way due to zoning codes. They are designed to blend into the surroundings and look like bell towers, palm trees, flag poles, pine trees, cacti and other structures. They tend to be smaller than other tower types and often offer lesser coverage than them.
The transmission ability and proximity of cell towers have a lot to do with the quality of cellular reception at your place. In case you have bad cellular reception at your place, you will have to consider installing a cell phone booster that can improve the strength of the cellular signals at your place significantly.