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The New World of Wireless: How to Compete in the 4G Revolution by Scott Snyder

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B. Wireless 101: Inside the Technology

Cellular Communications Basics

The cellular concept is based on three key principles:

Frequency reuse—In cellular systems, communication frequencies can be reused across a group of hexagon-shaped cells, as shown in Figure B.1, each with its own cell tower. This allows operators to maximize the number of users they can support with a given set of frequencies (sometimes called spectrum). They typically license this spectrum from a regulatory authority like the FCC unless it is unlicensed, where any operator can use it without a fee, as in the case of WiFi.

Figure B.1 Cellular frequency reuse patterns

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