Cell towers – the so-called base stations or mobile phone transmitters – are the hubs of mobile phone networks. Each base station supplies a narrowly defined area – the radio cell – with reception. If you are interested in knowing more about how signal jammer works, you should understand how cell towers work. We will discuss more in this post.

Mobile radio base stations transmit and receive systems with low transmission powers of between ten and 50 watts. The transmission power of mobile phones is even lower: it is a maximum of two watts.

Mobile phones must always be connected to a cell phone base station to set up a call. Therefore, cell towers are preferably built where many users want to make phone calls or use data services. Most transmitters are in cities and larger communities because people want to use mobile phones on the go, in their homes and offices. 

A base station covers areas of different sizes. The diameter of a radio cell ranges from 200 to 500 meters in city centers to several kilometers in the countryside. Cells for the UMTS or LTE mobile communications standard are usually significantly smaller due to the lower power of their transmitters. The signal jammers are designed to prevent your phone from transmitting information to the cell towers. The most commend signal jammer to block cell phones is cell phone jammers. They are high-power designs to override the low-power signal sent from the cell towers.

Transmission power

The typical transmission power of a base station antenna is between 10 and 50 watts. Accordingly, mobile radio base stations transmit with only a fraction of the power of radio and TV transmitters, which can be up to several 100,000 watts. Digital broadcasting DVBT (Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial), which has replaced analog TV programs in many regions, also works with higher transmission power than mobile radio systems. In recent years, technical prerequisites have been created to increasingly reduce the transmission power per call while maintaining the same transmission quality.

Automatic performance control

Compared to previous analog mobile networks, the transmission power of base stations and mobile phones has continued to decrease. The reasons are, on the one hand, the much tighter meshed networks that require low transmission power and, on the other hand, the technology of automatic power reduction with which mobile phones and base stations work.

Both mobile phones and base stations transmit only as strong as necessary to maintain a voice or data connection with consistently good quality. The base station constantly determines the lowest possible transmission power required for a functioning connection to the mobile phone. The mobile phone also adapts its performance to the quality of the connection and thus manages a good network supply with a fraction of the maximum transmission power because transmitters that are too strong could impair the connection quality of neighboring systems. A positive side effect: With good reception, mobile phones consume less power, and the battery lasts longer.

The elements of a base station

Every mobile radio base station consists of several components. These are mostly rod-shaped, vertical boxes that protect the sensitive cell phone antennas inside from the weather. In addition, there are often drum-like directional radio antennas. These are not used to supply mobile phones but establish the connection to neighboring transmitters or a switching center. They replace the connection via a telecommunications cable.

The actual “heart” of a base station beats inside a larger metal cabinet on the roof, in the attic, or – usually in the case of cell phone masts – on the ground. It contains the control and transmission electronics as well as the power supply.

Antenna properties

A base station typically has three antennas, each supplying a radio cell. When arranging the mobile radio antennas, a sectorized structure with three radiation directions offset by 120 degrees is usually selected. Each antenna covers an approximately 120-degree wide sector, resulting in an overall circular coverage (360-degree wraparound coverage). On the other hand, the signal jammers can carry 8 to 22 antennas.

Cellular antennas mainly transmit in a horizontal direction. In mobile communications, this is referred to as the main beam direction. The main direction of radiation is usually slightly downwards (downhill), so that primarily the own mobile radio cell is supplied and radiation into the neighboring cells is reduced. For technical reasons, in addition to the main radiation direction, there are field radiations in other spatial directions – the secondary radiation directions. However, these are significantly smaller in terms of their intensity about the main beam direction.

In contrast to mobile phone antennas, round directional radio antennas send signals in a tight bundle to a remote antenna. This bundling of the radio signal can be compared to the light beam from a lighthouse. To do this, directional radio antennas require a line of sight to the “partner antenna” and get by with very low transmission power, so they often have no safety distance.

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