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What is Cell Splitting in mobile communication?

by Sonali

Cell splitting in mobile communication is the process in which the bigger cells split up into smaller ones. In mobile communication we use cell splitting so that we can expand the capacity of the system. Cell splitting also helps to increase the number of channels. Whenever there is a bigger network for any area, the number of mobile users also increases. Let us understand the concept of cell splitting with a simple example. 

The formation of a cell takes place when a large number of users of any area are connected through a single base station. Let’s say if there are 100 people in an area and all have their own mobile phones. The mobile phone itself is the main station (MS) which makes communication between them easier. But for all of them to mutually communicate a single base station (BS) is built in the middle of the area. This BS is connected to the MS of all users. Hence now all these 100 users come under coverage of a single base station. This is called a cell.

As the time passes and gradually in the same area if the number of users increases from 100 to 700. The BS which was there for 100 users now connects to 700 users. This number is very high and hence the BS is overloaded. So to overcome this problem we use cell splitting. Now we can divide the big cell of 700 users into 7 separate adjacent cells each having its own BS. The figure below illustrates this concept. 

Concept of Macro Cell

The concept of cell splitting for small areas is discussed above. Now we will see how to use this for bigger areas. In a large area we need not to split all the cells in all clusters. Some of the base stations are capable of handling the traffic well when cells are split up. So our aim is to split up only those cells. In the figure below we can see how some of the cells split into smaller cells. This splitting does not affect other cells of the network.

The cells which are already split can be further split up into smaller cells. Therefore the efficiency of the BS also increases by doing so. 

The cell which is again splits into smaller ones is called the master cell. The splits smaller cells are called Marco cells. The further splitting of these macro cells results in Pico cells.

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