How Cell Towers Work: Hands-On!

How Cell Towers Work: Hands-On!

Fun fact: when I was selling mobile phones back in 2004, I would spend the store’s slow days taking online training courses reserved for my employer’s engineers, fascinated by the networks that made mobile phones work. Twelve years (and a change of career) later, my network curiosity still burned strong. So I asked AT&T to let me go hands-on with a cell site – and to my great surprise, the carrier said yes!

Come along as I scope out not one, but two cell sites: one hidden in the steeple of a church, the other perched high atop the tallest mountain in the Northeast. In the process we’ll learn about RF energy, what happens when the power goes out, and why the term “tower” isn’t always accurate.



MrMobile’s Tower Tour was produced based on a pitch by MrMobile to AT&T in the Spring of 2016. To make this video possible, AT&T provided access to two cell sites and several network engineering personnel. AT&T also reviewed MrMobile’s final script for technical accuracy, but no editorial changes were made as a result of the company’s input. Travel expenses were entirely paid by MrMobile/Mobile Nations, and there was no consideration paid to MrMobile by AT&T for the production of this video.


AT&T Network videos [YouTube]:

This Is How AT&T Covers 19,000 People Under One Roof [Pocketnow]:

AT&T Disaster Recovery Team [Pocketnow]:

Inverse Square Law [HyperPhysics]:

Mount Washington History:

Mount Washington State Park Blog Post: Friday January 13th, 2012

Mount Washington New Lowest-Temperature Record:


“Sensational” by Cymatix, available at Premium Beat:

“Green Fever” by Flash Fluharty, available at Premium Beat:



This post may contain affiliate links. See Mobile Nations’ disclosure policy for more details:


  1. jed-henry Witkowski on October 24, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    As a former call center rep, thank you to the techs!

  2. Turner TV on October 24, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    Sing praises whilst your cells mutate.

  3. Ruel Tmeizeh on October 24, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Those cables are hard-line coax, not waveguide.

  4. Warsun on October 24, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    6:54 OK dude. Now think. If you can get a Television signal with is the same as a Cellphone signal. You can clearly use that same signal for cellphone connections and internet. How do you figure. Those micro-towers are in anyway cellphone towers? They aren’t! That’s clearly not what they’re for!

  5. christopher békési on October 24, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    It didn’t actually show you much of how cell towers work other than how they’re mounted. Nothing about segments and signal structures.

  6. Joeylawn36111 on October 24, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    The worst "hidden" cell towers are the ones disguised as Trees. Nothing like a Fake Tree shouts "look at me". We had one put up in our city due to neighborhood objection. BUT if they had simply put up a regular cell tower, it would "blend in", and people would just not notice it anymore. Instead, you have something that’s looks faker than a $3 Bill that you ALWAYS will notice.

  7. Ana Marin on October 24, 2019 at 5:43 pm


  8. eixid on October 24, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Live stream Jesus here we come.

  9. S. O. on October 24, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Shoot these towers. 🔫

  10. Steve K on October 24, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    The microwave relay antennae on Mt. Washington are not there primarily to serve the cell phone installation but regular land line communications. They predate cellular phone service. An additional inaccuracy in your video is the statement that -34° f is a record in that area. I’ve personally seen -36 in southern Vermont at much lower elevation. Mt. Washington is known for its record winds. If you had discussed how computers transfer calls to adjacent towers as the subscriber travels that would have fulfilled the title of the vid.

  11. Chad Peterson on October 24, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    good video, however extremely basic. Failed to get into what freq. they are using. what a sector does, type of cabling such as massive effing coax that goes to each RF port on the sectors etc.

  12. Arcibaldo Arrogni on October 24, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    No matter how many times people say non ionizing radiation is safe, I would never stand this close in front of a microwave or GSM antenna.

  13. richard klegin on October 24, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    it would be cool if skynet launches .

  14. Loki Antyr on October 24, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    can confirm, WISP is very complicated.

  15. jnprfilms on October 24, 2019 at 5:57 pm


  16. Beumadine Sweevy on October 24, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Propaganda LIES for Sheeple! SEE CSPAN TESTIMONY!!
    5g is not good….see Chiiinnnaaaa! Europe KNOWS the WIRELESS HARMS!!

  17. Moi 2926 on October 24, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Can we get more detail that, "this is an antenna" and "this is a bunch of gear".
    Can just let them explain what all of it does?

  18. Harry Thomas on October 24, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    All these workers will be dead within 10 years. Neuroblastoma, Lukemia, etc…. the electronic grid is rising around us until we will all be trapped

  19. Sojo R on October 24, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    How did at&t get permission to put that piece of shit equipment on top of my beautiful mountain? Foh

  20. T-Animations on October 24, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    I was always fascinated on how this stuff works! It’s awesome

  21. Awesome Things on October 24, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    Well something no one wants to tell you is that you need a 4×4 mimo antena cell phone to take full advantage of the newer towers and get maximum signal. But hey, they keep it secret for a reason-EXPENSIVE

  22. Terry Mac on October 24, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    I hate my phone

  23. Toure Evelyn on October 24, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Yeah with that 4G maybe but that 5G is worst! There is no research showing it’s safe and they have to be closer to each other so they’ve been disguising them as everyday objects like trees, buildings, flag poles, street lights, even a lighthouse. Full 5G isn’t safe.

  24. Mitch Swanson on October 24, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    I liked the way you disregarded the hazards of microwaves coming off from cell towers and how they had no ill effect on the workers or the people. You sir should be ashamed. What is the proportion of cell tower workers that have some form of brain cancer since they began work on cell towers? It’s high I can say that much. And in a church? Oh my god. You sir are a liar. Anyone can research cell tower and brain cancer on the internet. Brain cancer and cell phone studies by independent non corporate affiliates. Check it out prove me wrong. You can’t.

  25. studinthemaking on October 24, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    What is LTE?

  26. MaximumEfficiency on October 24, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    5g weapon

  27. Dr. Bill on October 24, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    Satellite fakery is big taxpayers money for NASA. 59 million a day without 1 real picture of this planet. We don’t know what the world looks like. We use the Universal picture 1923 spinning globe model😆

  28. AbdEllah Bril on October 24, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    People in the church are safe for 3 reasons:
    2 you already mentioned
    and the third is Jesus is saving them

  29. S. O. on October 24, 2019 at 6:08 pm


  30. Gizmo's Graffiti on October 24, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    5g kills.

  31. Flekr on October 24, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    You should also provide your viewers with information regarding EMF and the negative effects it has on the human body. Not only will one experience changes in physical body but mental as well. Cancer, tumors and other terminal illnesses. The list goes on. The information is out there, not a conspiracy. Many professionals with degrees are providing the information.

  32. trade777 on October 24, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    Absolutely no explanation given as to how tower sites work and complete calls through the landline network !  Very disappointing presentation !

  33. S. O. on October 24, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    So this world is better now cuz we wont get cancer now?

  34. Tyler Hammac on October 24, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    I used to climb cell phone towers for AT&T and here are some fun facts:

    -Those backup batteries are 6 volt batteries that weight around 200lbs each! Newer ones are 12v batteries that are alot easier to carry 120lbs each.
    -I have upgraded a church steeple cell site’s radios and antennas. The antennas on the outside had to be painted.
    -The backup diesel generators start themselves up at random intervals to keep everything nice and oiled.
    -At 8:40 the cellular antenna is littered with bird defecation and urine! That’s why it looks like green streaks are dripping from it!
    -Cell phone site construction is very, very long and hard work!

  35. Ana Marin on October 24, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Either you all are trolls to uplift this garbage video or you all are absolutely STUPID, wow I can’t get over your ignorance

  36. Marco Gomez on October 24, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    The cleanest AT&T site I’ve seen ever lol.

  37. C Nebula on October 24, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    The 5:18 part is funny. You could see the train boiler tilted so that it remains horizontal during th mountain climb.

  38. jnprfilms on October 24, 2019 at 6:22 pm


  39. shijin on October 24, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Can you see the curvature of the Earth from there ??? 😁

  40. Josh Schwartz on October 24, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Love this video

  41. Betta Heaven on October 24, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    Liars!!!!!! This does effect the people in the church. This is a misconception! Raider frequencies travel in all directions! Lies

  42. S. O. on October 24, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    G thanks just what i dreamed of more materialistic junk. What is next titty bars with bibles?

  43. Kari Dufano on October 24, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    What do they use inside these churches and outside these churches to keep the emf’s from entering their territory?

  44. Les Campbell on October 24, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    LiFi Lighting is way faster in the gig bit speeds wont need cell towers every where 1/4 of the cost and meets the Abeille law of 2015 This Law prohibits Wi-Fi in buildings offering access to children under the age of 3 (nurseries, maternity wards, neonatology) as precautionary measure . And makes it Illegal to market cell phones to children under 14… LiFi Lighting emits EMW at 269 millivolts per meter which makes it safe to use in all areas of a hospitals and any areas were delicate machinery is being used … ITs bandwidth is 10,000 times larger than WiFi so its only a matter of time until it takes over the Telecommunication Market …. Found all this on

  45. Juan Garcia on October 24, 2019 at 6:34 pm


  46. Sayan Mondal on October 24, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    Does a single tower has multiple spectrum?

  47. S. O. on October 24, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    My balls are tingly and shit.
    Can u hear me now?

  48. Warsun on October 24, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    inverse Square Law is a lie! There is no such thing. Radio signals maintain their strength even through outer space. this is a load of garbage!

  49. [Content Deleted] on October 24, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Man. That pipe was a transmitter for WMTW? I watch that all the time. I also know WHOM

  50. Angel Eyes on October 24, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    PLZ READ ME!!!!!! Ah so these assholes are going to use this to microwave people in the masses. So if u are hated by some government official or they think yr a burden like being on welfare or disability they could turn the switch and have u killed in 1 year. So you die from cancer and thats it. i urge all of u who reads this to go buy a radiation detector monitor yr neighborhood and then 1 day you’ll have to buy a anti radiation suit to protect u. At some point u might have to use a radiation blocker to insulation yr entire home to prevent you from getting killed off. This world is fucked and its ppl in charge are pure evil pieces of trash spread the world this is genocide. Plz take great care.