Cellular network
A cellular network is a radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 network distributed over land areas called cells, each served by at least one fixed-location transceiver
A transceiver is a device comprising both a transmitter and a receiver which are combined and share common circuitry or a single housing. When no circuitry is common between transmit and receive functions, the device is a transmitter-receiver. The term originated in the early 1920s...

 known as a 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...

 or base station
Base station
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...

. When joined together these cells provide radio coverage over a wide geographic area. This enables a large number of portable transceivers (e.g., 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...

s, pager
A pager is a simple personal telecommunications device for short messages. A one-way numeric pager can only receive a message consisting of a few digits, typically a phone number that the user is then requested to call...

s, etc.) to communicate with each other and with fixed transceivers and telephones anywhere in the network, via base stations, even if some of the transceivers are moving through more than one cell during transmission.

Cellular networks offer a number of advantages over alternative solutions:
  • increased capacity
  • reduced power use
  • larger coverage area
  • reduced interference from other signals

An example of a simple non-telephone cellular system is an old taxi
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...

 driver's radio system where the taxi company has several transmitters based around a city that can communicate directly with each taxi.
In a cellular radio system, a land area to be supplied with radio service is divided into regular shaped cells, which can be hexagonal, square, circular or some other irregular shapes, although hexagonal cells are conventional.