Given that a mobile phone’s most basic function is 2-way communication, a mobile phone is simply just a radio with additional, somewhat sophisticated, capabilities. However, being able to handle such a large amount of tasks such as, keeping a schedule, writing emails, updating social media, browsing the Internet, banking, composing notes, taking photos, watching videos, listening to music and everything else in between, doesn’t keep carriers and manufacturers from trying to improve the ease-of-use that cell phones have. In many ways, it’s as if cell phone users learn to run before they learn to crawl. So in just focusing on the “cell phone” aspect of things and not all of the bells and whistles that come with it, what makes a cellular phone cellular?
In order to make phone calls on any cellular/mobile phone, it must be in range of an antenna tower. These towers are built and spaced out based on how each “cell” is divided within a single city. These cells are shaped like hexagons and typically span a 10 square mile area, with each cell connected to create an entire grid. Because cellular phones operate on lower-frequencies supplied by these towers, each cell phone carrier gets around 832 radio frequencies to use per “cell”, with each mobile phone system using around two frequencies per call. However, these frequencies used in the process are recycled and reused repeatedly so that more than one mobile phone is able to use them at a time.