What Is A Cellular Network? History, Features, Shapes, Broadcast Messages, More

The mobile phone is one of the disruptive technologies of the 21st Century. There was a time when people were obsessed with keypad phones, but with the passage of time, smartphones have taken over the place.

Have you ever wondered what technology is governing these pocket-size power-houses?

It’s the cellular network, and the present guide is about this only.

Keep reading till the end to understand what a cellular network is in detail.

Cellular Network – The Concept

Cellular Network - The Concept 

Cellular network is the underlying technology for mobile phones, wireless networking, personal communications, etc. It’s also known as a mobile network where the link is wireless too and from the end nodes.

It remains distributed over the land areas as “cells” and served by one fixed-location transceiver. A cell typically uses various sets of frequencies from the neighboring cells to provide guaranteed, high-quality service inside every cell.

Furthermore, when these cells join together, they provide radio coverage over a large geographic area. This network enables portable transceivers like mobile broadband to communicate with each other. This includes tablets, laptops, mobile broadbands, mobile phones, etc.

History Of Cellular Networks

The origin of cellular networks dates back to the first commercial cellular network, launched in Japan by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) in 1979. Within 5 years, the NTT network became the very first 1G network. 

That was an analog wireless network. The Bell System developed cellular technology in 1947. It had operational cellular networks in Dallas and Chicago before 1979. However, the commercial services were delayed with the Breakup of the Bell system. 

In 1991, the first digital commercial cellular network (2G generation) came into being and spiked the competition in the sector.

Features Of Cellular Network

Features Of Cellular Network

Wireless Cellular systems offer a plethora of desirable features:

  • It has super high capacity internet within a restricted spectrum.
  • Reuse the radio channel in several cells.
  • Communication always happens between the base station and mobiles.
  • The neighboring cells remain assigned to multiple channel groups.
  • Every cellular base station allocated in a group of radio channels confined within a small geographic location is called a cell.
  • Maintains the interface level within tolerable limits.
  • Organization of the Wireless Cellular Network.
  • Mobile divides use much less power than a single satellite or transmitter as the cell towers are close to each other.
Bonus point: If your mobile phone shows you, “could not activate cellular data network,” go to Settings - Cellular - move the Cellular Data slider on/to green.

Shapes Of The Cells

The cellular network’s coverage area is “cell,” and each cell has its own antenna that facilitates the transmission of signals. Every cell has its own frequencies, and the shape of the cells can either be Hexagon or Polygon. 

1. Square

A square cell is characterized by four neighbors at distance d and another four neighbors at distance Root 2d. It simplifies switching and choosing the new antenna. It simplifies the switching and choosing of the new antenna. 

2. Hexagon

A hexagon cell’s shape is best for easy coverage as well as calculations. It’s advantageous since it provides equidistant antennas.

Directional Antennas

Directional Antennas

Cell towers often use the directional signal to facilitate the reception in higher-traffic areas. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States restricts the omnidirectional cell tower signals to 100 watts of power. 

Now, if there are directional antennas in the tower, the FCC permits the cell operators to release Effective Radiated Power (ERP) of up to 500 Watts. Cell phone organizations utilize this directional signal for optimizing the reception inside arenas, buildings, stadiums, and highways. 

Broadcast Messaging And Paging

Genuinely speaking, every cellular system has a broadcast mechanism. This helps in distributing information directly to multiple mobile phones. Specifically, the most crucial utility of broadcast information is preparing the channels for one-to-one communication between the base station and the mobile transceiver – PAGING. Paging basically occurs by sending broadcast messages to a group of a limited number of cells. 

What Network Does Consumer Cellular Use?
Consumer cellular wireless service uses AT&T and T-Mobile for network capacity. It also resells the wholesale wireless services of AT&T to other online operators.

Frequency Reuse

The concept of frequency reusing is the same as radio frequencies within a particular given area. These are separated from each other by considerable distances and the shortest interference for establishing strong communication. 

Following are the benefits that Frequency Reuse offers:

  • Allows re-use of frequencies in the nearby cells.
  • Allows stable communications on a particular frequency within cells.
  • Uses the same frequency for a range of conversations. 
  • 10-50 frequencies per cell.
Bonus Point: If you see this error message on your phone, Cellular network not available for voice calls, note that it’s a slight bug. The best way to resolve this is to update your phone software. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q1. What Is An Example Of A Cellular Network? 

The most frequent example of a cellular network is a mobile phone network. Radio waves are used for transferring signals to and from cell phones. 

Q2. Is WiFi A Cellular Network?

No, it’s not. Cellular networks use networks spread over a wide area and are based on mobile phones. They use cellular signals in order to connect to the internet. Wi-fi makes use of radiofrequency waves to provide.

Q3. What Are The Main Cellular Networks?

The best 5 wireless telecommunication facility-based service providers in the United States are:
1. Verizon: 142.8 million (Q4, 2021)
2. T-Mobile US: 108.7 million (Q4 2021)
3. AT&T Mobility: 100.6 million (Q4 2021)
4. Dish Wireless: 8.5 million (Q4 2021)
5. U.S. Cellular: 4.9 Million (Q4 2021)

Q4. Which Is Safer Wi-Fi Or Cellular?

A Cellular network is, of course, safer than a Wi-Fi network since most Wi-Fi hotspots are not secured. It’s because the data over the internet doesn’t remain encrypted. 

Q5. In A Cellular Network, Each Cell Is Controlled By A Tower. What Are These Towers Called?

The answer is Base stations. In cellular telephone networks, the other name of the base station is cell tower. 

Summing It Up

While there is a myriad of benefits, cellular technology can provide, knowing its drawbacks also is equally important.

  • Costs for network operators’ packages incorrectly.
  • There might be no result in the speed of the mobile networks.
  • Prices of the network operators’ packages and handsets differ fallaciously.

Despite these challenges, we can’t imagine our life without cellular networks, can we?

What do you think about it? Leave your thoughts in the comment area below.

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at MashumMollah.com.

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      Mashum Mollah

      Mashum Mollah

      Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at MashumMollah.com.

      Tech Trends Pro