Inner workings of a cell tower 723

A cell tower is a pylon rising up in the air that holds communication and data devices of the telecommunication industries. At its base is the service providers equipment shelter better known as BTS that houses radio transmitters and receivers that allow communication between the phones and tower. The radio communication is enabled by thick RF (co-axial) cables that move up the tower to the antennae.


  1. security perimeter – it is used to protect the communication devices from theft, malice & tampering by unauthorized persons.
  2. ladder – used by telecommunication engineers to climb to the top of the cell tower to inspect and repair antenna and electrical circuits.
  3. B.T.S – also known as base transceiver station is basically a station that houses transmitters and receivers for telecommunication purposes.
  4.  Antenna – in this tower there are many antenna i.e GSM antenna, cell site antenna, microwave antenna, CDMA, wi-fi, WIMAX e.t.c. like shown below.

a generator either diesel or petrol is set aside to power the cell towers antennae in case of a blackout, alternatively a set of batteries and an inverter may be used in this case.

The cell tower receives data via and is connected to core network by fibre optic cables.


When u make a call on your cell phone, it reaches the nearest cell tower via radio signal and a frequency channel is assigned by the B.T.S. to ensure calls don’t overlap since its a duplex communication i.e 2 people can talk at the same time. From here they are routed onward to their destination to a cell tower nearest to the receiver where it moves to the base station before it reaches its destination. The base station is backhauled to a mobile switch which helps keep connections and track of users moving around. A location register connected to the  is used to keep track on which base station the phone registered on which helps the phone company with location area identifier hence identifying location of user.


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