What Are Microcells?

Microcell repeaters installed on pole in outdoor environment, microcells in use

It’s important to know what you’re buying if you have a smaller cellular network established to improve cell phone service within your office building or business property. Microcells are low-power cellular base stations, which serve as individual pieces of a cellular network and/or a distributed antenna system (DAS). A microcell can expand and enhance cellular coverage in small increments. With microcells at your disposal, you can create a fully-customized and secure network that suits your business needs.

Microcells vs. Cells

In cellular phone networks, a cell is a land area where a wireless network is distributed by at least one fixed-location transceiver. A microcell is a cell in a cellular mobile phone network that is served by a low-power cellular base station (also called a microcell).

Microcells are often chosen to provide cellular coverage in limited areas such as hospitals, hotels, or school campuses. Microcells use power control to limit the radius of their coverage area, allowing for fairly precise network area definition. The range of a microcell is typically less than a mile wide.

Small Cell Alternatives

There are microcell alternatives available, such as Femtocell, and Picocell technology. However, microcells are often best-suited to serve businesses and institutions who need cell phone signal boosters. Microcells cover larger geographic areas and support a higher number of connected users. Femtocell and Picocell technology might support up to a few dozen users, but microcell can support hundreds.

Macrocell Technology

Microcell, Femtocell, and Picocell are all examples of small cell technology. Small cell technology exists to supplement macrocell technology.

Macrocells can support thousands of connected users, and cover an area of 5-18 sq. miles. However, many people who build a DAS will choose to implement several smaller microcells instead of one larger macrocell because it allows for more precise coverage.

Learn MoreCover image for Safe Inside podcast, from Safe Buildings Coalition

To learn more about the equipment used in distributed antenna systems (DAS) and some best practices for building safety, check out The Safe Inside Podcast, from the Safer Buildings Coalition.

Harris Communications is a proud member of the Safer Buildings Coalition!



Work With Harris Communications

If you want to work with the best DAS design team in the business, schedule a call with us to get the ball rolling.