A mobile network tower presumably uses tons of power to pump radio waves capable of reaching my phone, but how does my phone – with its comparably tiny power source – manage to send a response all the way back?

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A mobile network tower presumably uses tons of power to pump radio waves capable of reaching my phone, but how does my phone – with its comparably tiny power source – manage to send a response all the way back?

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3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The mobile network tower uses tons of power to reach 10,000 phones all at the same time.

Your individual phone has sufficient power to talk back – the transmission really just *does* work with just a phone battery.

Anonymous 0 Comments

4G radios have a range of about 10 miles – 5G significantly less. Your phone has more than enough power to deal with this. 

Mobile phone masts need a lot of power because of the volume of signals they’re dealing with – not for range. They suffer the same limitations in that certain bandwidths fundamentally can only travel so far. 

Anonymous 0 Comments

Think of radio frequencies like light. Your phone sends a VERY specific color of “light”. When you send that through just the right filter so you ONLY see that specific color, most of the electromagnetic noise i.e. other lights shining everywhere, can be ignored, and the tower can pick up extremely weak signals.

In fact your phone is also very sensitive in this way, and you might be surprised how little power a cell tower uses to transmit. It’s more than your phone, but on a scale of a wifi router up to radio station you can pick up from hundreds of miles away – a cell tower is much closer to your wifi router.