What are the "cells" in Cell Phones?

By: Gloria Moore ">

The term cell phone comes from the full name, cellular phone. It is, though, supposedly based on "cells", of which the network is comprised. The phone communicates not with a designated station, but the closest cell site based on the location of the phone being used.

The country is split into different small zones. At the center of each zone is a cell phone tower to which the cell phones "communicate". The tower then communicates with a central cellular service station. When you look at the service area around the tower, it appears to look somewhat like a honeycomb, and in a honeycomb, the different compartments are called "cells"...hence the name. Therefore, depending on the cell in which you're physically located, the tower in the center of that cell will be the device responsible for communicating your call to the main service station and then further the call to your recipient. As you move from one cell to another, your call is moved from one tower in the center of the cell to the next, automatically and silently making the switch.

And therefore, the name cell phone comes from the fact that it works through a grid of cells on a map.

Cell towers typically consist of radio transmitters that are pretty low in their power - often only one or two watts. These transmitters broadcast their own presence and then relay communications among the various mobile handsets communicating within their "cell' and the switch - the cell service station. The cell switch will either send the call onto another wireless handset (the call recipient) directly if they are of the same service provider, or the call will be sent on to a public telephone network, from which any of the other carriers may be contacted.

Though some of these towers are considered to be eyesores, others are camouflaged rather effectively so that they blend in win their surrounding environments. This is especially the case in scenic areas where the landscape should retain its beauty.

The actual technology used by the handset differs from manufacturer to manufacturer and cellular carrier to cellular carrier.

Cell Phones
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