What Is a Base Station Transceiver?

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  • Written By: Mark Wollacott
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2019
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A base station transceiver allows wireless and radio communication to take place. They operate as an intermediary between the sender and the receiver. The transceiver connects the user equipment, known as UE, to a specified communication network. Such stations tend to be owned by one or a combination of communication companies.

The transceiver is housed within a base station. These tend to be towers located within or near population hubs in order to give good signal coverage to network users. These base stations can be controlled locally through an interface panel or remote-controlled from a central or regional hub.

A standard base station transceiver contains a cabinet with one or two base radio units, known as RBUs. This forms the core element of the transceiver and is known as the TRX. These are also called drive receivers or DRXs. Each RBU is able to receive and send radio or digital data. The amount of traffic a TRX can deal with depends on the complexity of its architecture.

Additional equipment includes the power amplifier and the antenna. TRXs can be combined with others using a combiner within the base station transceiver. The volume of signals coming in and out of the TRX is simplified by the Duplexer. The Duplexer separates these signals into those being sent and received.


Uses for the base station transceiver include mobile or cell phone communication, wireless internet, radio signals and WiFi®. This includes verbal communication, text messages and the uploading and downloading of content. For third-generation and smart phones, tablets and wireless computers, this includes accessing applications, online content and playing online games.

A wireless phone exchange works by an analog signal being converted into a digital one. This signal is then sent to the base station transceiver where it is sent on to another, then another along a chain until it reaches the destination phone or computer. Once at its destination, the digital signal is converted back into an analog one, allowing the receiver to understand the information in the form of a message, picture or sound.

Radio and wireless technology provide a number of benefits to users. The technology allows for quick exchanges of information across the world. It also reduces the cost of such messages and data transfers. It means fewer wires are needed to perform such interactions.

The presence of a base station transceiver in or around residential areas, and especially in close proximity to schools, has caused a number of health worries. The only part of the transceiver that emits electromagnetic energy is the antenna. The antennas are designed to restrict the amount of energy heading downwards. Exposure to low levels of electromagnetic fields is not harmful, but there remain concerns about high levels of exposure.


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