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Mobile Networks Explained - L1

Overview

Mobile phones work by sending and receiving low power radio signals.  The signals are sent to and received from antennas that are attached to radio transmitters and receivers, commonly referred to as mobile phone base stations. The base stations are linked to the rest of the mobile and fixed phone networks and pass the signal/call on into those networks.

To provide a good quality mobile service, base stations need to be located where people use their mobile phones.  A  mobile network is typically designed on a "cell grid" basis covering a geographic area.  Base stations are located either in each cell or on the corner of a group of cells.   The number of base stations required for a given area will depend on the terrain and number of people using mobile phones.

Mobile networks have a finite capacity which means the ability to cater for simultaneous phone calls.  The more people using mobile phones, the more capacity is required and this usually means more base stations closer together.  Mobile networks must be designed according to the local population and number of people using the network.

Mobile phones and base stations are designed to comply with the stringent safety guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization.

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