What Is the Purpose of a Cell Phone Tower?

By Andrea Stein

Reception, or signal strength, is crucial to the operation of cellular phones. Cell phone reception would be extremely poor or nonexistent without cell phone towers.

Definition

A cell phone tower, also referred to as a cell site, is a tower or long vertical pole on which electronic communications equipment and antenna are mounted. Cell towers typically include transmitters, receivers, control electronics and additional electronic power sources for backup.

Purpose

The purpose of a cell phone tower is to facilitate cellular phone and other wireless communication device signal reception in a cellular network. A cellular network is a radio signal network that covers areas of lands referred to as cells. Each cell in the network is serviced by one or more transceivers, or cell towers, in a fixed location.

Process

The cell tower transceiver is an electronic device that contains a combined transceiver and receiver. The transceiver/receiver controls transmission of signals between cellular devices and the base station controller. The base station controller is the system that transmits signals between cellular devices and the network switching subsystem.