Base Transciever Station (BTS)

The BTS is a telecoms infrastructure used to facilitate wireless communication between subscriber device and telecoms operator network. The subscriber device can be mobile phone, wireless internet devices while the operator network could be a GSM, CDMA or TDMA platform.

A typical BTS comprises of a Transceiver (TRX) which handles transmission and reception of signals; sending and reception of signals to or from higher network entities, a Combiner which Combines feeds from several TRXs so that they could be sent out through a single antenna thus reducing the number of antennas that need be installed, a Power amplifier which aids in signal amplification from TRX for transmission through the antenna, a Duplexer which is used for separating sending and receiving signals to or from the antenna and an Antenna which is an external part of the BTS.

The BTS equipment are usually housed in a shelter which protects the telecoms equipment from external conditions such as dust, corrosion, rust, theft etc.

The shelter thus comprises of the BTS equipments already mentioned, an air conditioner which is used to cool the space as a result of the heat generated by the equipment, a battery bank that supplies the equipment with electrical power and security lights.

BTS energy flow diagram

The energy demand of a telecommunication equipment differs according to its network specifications.(Table 1). Presently, 77% of 5.4 billion global cellular subscribers are on the GSM platform (Figure 2).

Pie Chart of Global Mobile Subscription Table of Load reuirements for various BTS

The temperature of the telecoms shelter during operation exceeds 55 degrees celsius which is a bad operating condition for the BTS electronic equipment. This necessitates the need for an air conditioner especially in the tropics to maintain the shelter temperature at 25 degrees celsius in order to prolong the shelf life of both the BTS equipment and the batteries.

The relative humidity is also of prime concern and as such it is maintained below 60% to avoid condensation of fluid (water) on the equipment. In most cases, the air conditioner serves a dual function of cooling and dehumidifying for the purpose of maintaining the acceptable humidity levels.

References used:

  1. Solutions Paper: Alternative Power for Mobile Telephony Base Stations, Motorola Inc. 2007, p. 8 Available at:
  2. Global Mobile Market Shares. Available at:

© 2011 MSc Renewable Energy Systems and the Environment Group Project