Review Step 2c: Characteristics & Trade-offs
The coverage areas of different cellular technology deployments are impacted by a wide range of factors, including the spectrum band utilized, the height of the radio tower, electrical power/amplification of radio signals (on both transmitting and receiving devices) and environmental conditions (such as atmospheric pressure and humidity). For example, according to GSMA, when it comes to rural deployments, coverage areas differ depending on tower height, all other factors being constant: a tower over 30 m high can cover a wide area (8-15 km), while towers that are between 12 and 30 m high may only cover 4 to 8 km. Targeted solutions with tower heights between 9 and 19 m, meanwhile, can transmit signals over 2 to 4 km. With the ultrawide-area innovative solutions currently in development, such as HAPS, that can be used for both backhaul and last-mile access, coverage areas from 500 to 2 000 km may even be possible.
Table 22: Maximum coverage area by radio frequency (MHz) using LTE
Source: J. Bright, LTE450 (slide presentation at the LTE450 Global Seminar 2014) (Ovum, 2014) Note: This is a theoretical comparison of base station coverage at different bandwidths, based on flat terrain, a tower-mounted amplifier with a radio 60 m above ground, and no interference. The maximum coverage area can be achieved when the main criterion is wave propagation and not traffic load.