Macro cell towers can support multiple cellular wireless carriers, public safety, and other communication systems. They are typically 50 to 600 feet tall and provide coverage up to 10 square miles. The cost to install is roughly $200,000. Currently, there are over 400,000 macro cell towers installed in the US.
The towers can have several different forms. A monopole tower is a tubular mast up to 200 feet high. A guyed tower is a single mast stabilized by guy wires ranging in size from 40 feet to over 2,000 feet. A self-supporting tower has a square or triangular shape with heights ranging up to 500 feet.
A cell site includes the tower, antenna, and equipment building. The latter houses transmitters and receivers, backhaul connections to the cellular network, and backup power sources.
There are also supercell towers up to 820 feet high with high-gain and narrow beamwidth antennas. They can provide a coverage area 65 times larger than a 100-foot tall macro cell tower. Supercells are used to provide coverage in rural areas.
Small cell installations are typically on telephone poles, traffic signals, and inside and outside buildings. They provide cellular coverage for 10 yards to just over a mile. They are primarily used in high-density urban environments.