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Base station

Base station

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The term base station can be used in the context of land surveying and wireless communications.

Land surveying


In the context of external land surveying, a base station is a GPS receiver at an accurately-known fixed location which is used to derive correction information for nearby portable GPS receivers. This correction data allows propagation
Radio propagation
Radio propagation is the behavior of radio waves when they are transmitted, or propagated from one point on the Earth to another, or into various parts of the atmosphere...

 and other effects to be corrected out of the position data obtained by the mobile stations, which gives greatly increased location precision and accuracy over the results obtained by uncorrected GPS receivers.

Computer networking



In the area of wireless computer networking, a base station is a radio receiver/transmitter that serves as the hub of the local wireless network, and may also be the gateway between a wired network and the wireless network. It typically consists of a low-power transmitter and wireless router
Wireless router
A Wireless router is a device that performs the functions of a router but also includes the functions of a wireless access point and a network switch. They are commonly used to allow access to the Internet or a computer network without the need for a cabled connection. It can function in a wired...

.

Wireless communications


In radio communications, a base station is a wireless communications station installed at a fixed location and used to communicate as part of either:
  • a push-to-talk
    Push to talk
    Push-to-talk , also known as Press-to-Transmit, is a method of conversing on half-duplex communication lines, including two-way radio, using a momentary button to switch from voice reception mode to transmit mode....

     two-way radio
    Two-way radio
    A two-way radio is a radio that can both transmit and receive , unlike a broadcast receiver which only receives content. The term refers to a personal radio transceiver that allows the operator to have a two-way conversation with other similar radios operating on the same radio frequency...

     system, or;
  • a wireless telephone
    Radiotelephone
    A radiotelephone is a communications system for transmission of speech over radio. Radiotelephone systems are not necessarily interconnected with the public "land line" telephone network. "Radiotelephone" is often used to describe the usage of radio spectrum where it is important to distinguish the...

     system such as cellular
    Mobile phone
    A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

     CDMA or GSM cell site
    Cell site
    A cell site is a term used to describe a site where antennas and electronic communications equipment are placed, usually on a radio mast, tower or other high place, to create a cell in a cellular network...

    .
  • Terrestrial Trunked Radio
    Terrestrial Trunked Radio
    Terrestrial Trunked Radio is a professional mobile radio and two-way transceiver specification...


Professional


In professional two-way radio systems, a base station is used to maintain contact with a dispatch
Dispatch (logistics)
Dispatch is a procedure for assigning employees or vehicles to customers. Industries that dispatch include taxicabs, couriers, emergency services, as well as home and commercial services such as maid services, plumbing, HVAC, pest control and electricians.With vehicle dispatching, clients are...

 fleet of hand-held or mobile
Mobile Radio
This article is about professional equipment. For mobile radios used in amateur radio, see amateur radio mobile operation. Mobile radio or mobiles refer to wireless communications systems and devices which are based on radio frequencies, and where the path of communications is movable on either...

 radios, and/or to activate one-way paging receivers. The base station is one end of a communications link. The other end is a movable vehicle-mounted radio or walkie-talkie. Examples of base station uses in two-way radio include the dispatch of tow truck
Tow truck
A tow truck is a vehicle used to transport motor vehicles to another location , or to recover vehicles which are no longer on a drivable surface.Towing services are generally provided by an emergency road service operator...

s and taxicab
Taxicab
A taxicab, also taxi or cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice...

s.

Professional base station radios are often one channel. In lightly used base stations, a multi-channel unit may be employed. In heavily used systems, the capability for additional channels, where needed, is accomplished by installing an additional base station for each channel. Each base station appears as a single channel on the dispatch center control console. In a properly designed dispatch center with several staff members, this allows each dispatcher to communicate simultaneously, independently of one another, on a different channel as necessary. For example, a taxi company dispatch center may have one base station on a high-rise building in Boston and another on a different channel in Providence
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the capital and most populous city of Rhode Island and was one of the first cities established in the United States. Located in Providence County, it is the third largest city in the New England region...

. Each taxi dispatcher could communicate with taxis in either Boston or Providence by selecting the respective base station on his or her console.

In dispatching centers it is common for eight or more radio base stations to be connected to a single dispatching console. Dispatching personnel can tell which channel a message is being received on by a combination of local protocol, unit identifiers, volume settings, and busy indicator lights. A typical console has two speakers identified as select and unselect. Audio from a primary selected channel is routed to the select speaker and to a headset. Each channel has a busy light which flashes when someone talks on the associated channel.

Base stations can be local controlled or remote controlled. Local controlled base stations are operated by front panel controls on the base station cabinet. Remote control base stations can be operated over tone- or DC-remote circuits. The dispatch point console and remote base station are connected by leased private line telephone circuits, (sometimes called RTO circuits), a DS-1
Digital Signal 1
Digital signal 1 is a T-carrier signaling scheme devised by Bell Labs. DS1 is a widely used standard in telecommunications in North America and Japan to transmit voice and data between devices. E1 is used in place of T1 outside North America, Japan, and South Korea...

, or radio links. The consoles multiplex transmit commands onto remote control circuits. Some system configurations require duplex, or four wire, audio paths from the base station to the console. Others require only a two-wire or half duplex link.

Interference could be defined as receiving any signal other than from a radio in your own system. To avoid interference from users on the same channel, or interference from nearby strong signals on another channel, professional base stations use a combination of:
  • minimum receiver specifications and filtering.
  • analysis of other frequencies in use nearby.
  • in the US, coordination of shared frequencies by coordinating agencies.
  • locating equipment so that terrain blocks interfering signals.
  • use of directional antennas to reduce unwanted signals.


Base stations are sometimes called control or fixed stations in US Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...

 licensing. These terms are defined in regulations inside Part 90 of the commissions regulations. In US licensing jargon, types of base stations include:
  • A fixed station is a base station used in a system intended only to communicate with other base stations. A fixed station can also be radio link used to operate a distant base station by remote control. (No mobile or hand-held radios are involved in the system.)
  • A control station is a base station used in a system with a repeater where the base station is used to communicate through the repeater.
  • A temporary base is a base station used in one location for less than a year.
  • A repeater
    Radio repeater
    A radio repeater is a combination of a radio receiver and a radio transmitter that receives a weak or low-level signal and retransmits it at a higher level or higher power, so that the signal can cover longer distances without degradation. This article refers to professional, commercial, and...

    is a type of base station that extends the range of hand-held and mobile radios.

Amateur and hobbyist use


In amateur radio
Amateur radio
Amateur radio is the use of designated radio frequency spectrum for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication...

, a base station also communicates with mobile rigs but for hobby or family communications. Amateur systems sometimes serve as dispatch radio systems during disasters, search and rescue mobilizations, or other emergencies.

An Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n UHF CB
UHF CB
UHF CB is a class-licensed citizen's band radio service authorised by the governments of Australia and New Zealand in the UHF 477 MHz band. UHF CB provides 77 channels, including 32 channels allocated to repeater stations...

 base station is another example of part of a system used for hobby or family communications.

Wireless telephone


Wireless telephone
Radiotelephone
A radiotelephone is a communications system for transmission of speech over radio. Radiotelephone systems are not necessarily interconnected with the public "land line" telephone network. "Radiotelephone" is often used to describe the usage of radio spectrum where it is important to distinguish the...

 differ from two-way radios in that:
  • wireless telephones are circuit switched: the communications paths are set up by dialing at the start of a call and the path remains in place until one of the callers hangs up.
  • wireless telephones communicate with other telephones usually over the public switched telephone network
    Public switched telephone network
    The public switched telephone network is the network of the world's public circuit-switched telephone networks. It consists of telephone lines, fiber optic cables, microwave transmission links, cellular networks, communications satellites, and undersea telephone cables, all inter-connected by...

    .


A wireless telephone base station communicates with a mobile or hand-held phone. For example, in a wireless telephone system, the signals from one or more mobile telephones in an area are received at a nearby base station, which then connects the call to the land-line network. Other equipment is involved depending on the system architecture. Mobile telephone provider networks, such as European GSM networks, may involve carrier
Multiplexing
The multiplexed signal is transmitted over a communication channel, which may be a physical transmission medium. The multiplexing divides the capacity of the low-level communication channel into several higher-level logical channels, one for each message signal or data stream to be transferred...

, microwave radio, and switching facilities
Telephone exchange
In the field of telecommunications, a telephone exchange or telephone switch is a system of electronic components that connects telephone calls...

 to connect the call. In the case of a portable phone such as a US cordless phone, the connection is directly connected to a wired land line.

Emissions issues



While low levels of radio-frequency power are usually considered to have negligible effects on health, national and local regulations restrict the design of base stations to limit exposure to electromagnetic field
Electromagnetic field
An electromagnetic field is a physical field produced by moving electrically charged objects. It affects the behavior of charged objects in the vicinity of the field. The electromagnetic field extends indefinitely throughout space and describes the electromagnetic interaction...

s. Technical measures to limit exposure include restricting the radio frequency power emitted by the station, elevating the antenna above ground level, changes to the antenna
Antenna (radio)
An antenna is an electrical device which converts electric currents into radio waves, and vice versa. It is usually used with a radio transmitter or radio receiver...

 pattern, and barriers to foot or road traffic. For typical base stations, significant electromagnetic energy is only emitted at the antenna, not along the length of the antenna tower.

Because mobile phones and their base stations are two-way radios, they produce radio-frequency (RF
Radio frequency
Radio frequency is a rate of oscillation in the range of about 3 kHz to 300 GHz, which corresponds to the frequency of radio waves, and the alternating currents which carry radio signals...

) radiation in order to communicate, exposing people near them to RF radiation giving concerns about mobile phone radiation and health
Mobile phone radiation and health
The effect of mobile phone radiation on human health is the subject of recent interest and study, as a result of the enormous increase in mobile phone usage throughout the world . Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range...

. Hand-held mobile telephones are relatively low power so the RF radiation exposures from them are generally low.

The World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 has concluded that "there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects."

The consensus of the scientific community is that the power from these mobile phone base station antennas is too low to produce health hazards as long as people are kept away from direct access to the antennas. However, current international exposure guidelines (ICNIRP) are based largely on the thermal effects of base station emissions. Some scientists have questioned whether there are non thermal effects from being exposed to low level RF such as are transmitted from mobile phone base stations. Such 'non-thermal' effects include how the actual frequencies interfere with the human brain
Brain
The brain is the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals—only a few primitive invertebrates such as sponges, jellyfish, sea squirts and starfishes do not have one. It is located in the head, usually close to primary sensory apparatus such as vision, hearing,...

 and all other cells in the human body.

Emergency power


Fuel cell
Fuel cell
A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent. Hydrogen is the most common fuel, but hydrocarbons such as natural gas and alcohols like methanol are sometimes used...

 backup power systems are added to critical base stations or cell site
Cell site
A cell site is a term used to describe a site where antennas and electronic communications equipment are placed, usually on a radio mast, tower or other high place, to create a cell in a cellular network...

s to provide emergency power.

See also

  • Base Transceiver Station
    Base Transceiver Station
    A base transceiver station or cell site is a piece of equipment that facilitates wireless communication between user equipment and a network. UEs are devices like mobile phones , WLL phones, computers with wireless internet connectivity, WiFi and WiMAX gadgets etc...

  • Mobile Switching Center
  • Macrocell
    Macrocell
    A macrocell is a cell in a mobile phone network that provides radio coverage served by a high power cellular base station . Generally, macrocells provide coverage larger than microcell. The antennas for macrocells are mounted on ground-based masts, rooftops and other existing structures, at a...

  • Microcell
    Microcell
    A microcell is a cell in a mobile phone network served by a low power cellular base station , covering a limited area such as a mall, a hotel, or a transportation hub. A microcell is usually larger than a picocell, though the distinction is not always clear...

  • Picocell
    Picocell
    A picocell is a small cellular basestation typically covering a small area, such as in-building , or more recently in-aircraft...

  • Femtocell
    Femtocell
    In telecommunications, a femtocell is a small cellular base station, typically designed for use in a home or small business. It connects to the service provider’s network via broadband ; current designs typically support 2 to 4 active mobile phones in a residential setting, and 8 to 16 active...

  • Access point base station
  • Cell site
    Cell site
    A cell site is a term used to describe a site where antennas and electronic communications equipment are placed, usually on a radio mast, tower or other high place, to create a cell in a cellular network...

  • Cellular repeater
    Cellular repeater
    A cellular repeater, cell phone repeater, or wireless cellular signal booster, a type of bi-directional amplifier as commonly named in the wireless telecommunications industry, is a device used for boosting the cell phone reception to the local area by the usage of a reception antenna, a signal...

  • Mobile phone
    Mobile phone
    A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

  • Mobile phone radiation and health
    Mobile phone radiation and health
    The effect of mobile phone radiation on human health is the subject of recent interest and study, as a result of the enormous increase in mobile phone usage throughout the world . Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range...

  • Portable phone
  • Signal strength
    Signal strength
    In telecommunications, particularly in radio, signal strength refers to the magnitude of the electric field at a reference point that is a significant distance from the transmitting antenna. It may also be referred to as received signal level or field strength. Typically, it is expressed in...

  • Audio level compression
    Audio level compression
    Dynamic range compression, also called DRC or simply compression reduces the volume of loud sounds or amplifies quiet sounds by narrowing or "compressing" an audio signal's dynamic range...

  • OpenBTS
    OpenBTS
    OpenBTS is a software-based GSM access point, allowing standard GSM-compatible mobile phones to make telephone calls without using existing telecommunication providers' networks...


External links