A cell tower, also known as a cell site, is a structure used to install cellular-enabled mobile device transmitters and other electronic communications equipment, typically on a tower, radio mast, or a raised structure, to enable communication through a cellular network. It may also involve using a single structure to equip or deploy mobile telecommunications antennae from multiple wireless service providers in one place in what is known as cell tower colocation.
A cell tower’s primary function is to support antennae that broadcast and receive radio frequency (RF) signals from mobile phones or other cellular devices.
The base station, typically located at ground level, is connected to the tower antennas via a network of wires. Transceivers are among the base station’s components, which send and receive radio transmissions through the antennae. Other base station parts include signal amplifiers, combiners, multiplexers, and system controllers.
Engineers must ensure that antennae are tall enough to cover a particular cell area. Therefore, cell towers are typically 50 to 200 feet tall. These towers can either stand alone as steel poles or be attached to other structures. In the latter category, engineers can fix the cell towers on buildings, bridges, water towers, traffic or street lights, billboards, and other structures.