Cell Phone output power?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by ZL1UZM, Aug 16, 2009.

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  1. ZL1UZM

    ZL1UZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I searched the net but couldn't find a conclusive answer. Some say 1 watt others say 250mW. Who knows for sure?
  2. PA5COR

    PA5COR Ham Member QRZ Page


    So the max power output is 2 watt.
    But the phone constantly tries to use the lowest power needed for a reliable connection.
  3. W5DXP

    W5DXP Ham Member QRZ Page

    i.e. the cellphone base station tower tells the remote cellphone what power to transmit, minimum close to the tower, maximum in a fringe area.
  4. N4CD

    N4CD Ham Member QRZ Page


    It depends upon the technology and frequency band. The first US standard - AMPS - had a 0.6w limit at 800 MHz. It was lower at 1.8 GHz.

    CDMA power levels are typically 10 db lower than the levels used for GSM or US TDMA. In city environments, your phone could be running at the milliwatt level, depending upon your location and how many users are trying to share the same cellsites.
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is exactly correct. I've never seen a modern cell phone that could generate 2 Watts, even peak. We've measured both current drain and e.r.p. on an outdoor 10m range using calibrated antennas (+/- 1 dB overall accuracy) to determine actual power as closely as possible when licensing many of these devices and everything indicates about 300mW peak for the typical phone, with average power being considerably lower. The e.r.p.s are actually lower than this since the antennas have less than unity gain.

    If the phone could provide 2W output even 1% of the time, the battery pack would not last long at all; on the contrary most hand held miniature phones provide 48 hours of standby and 3 hours of talk time, which based on the typical battery pack capacity would indicate that even "talking," they're usually running less than 100mW.

  6. KS4VT

    KS4VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maximum possible power output of a handheld cellular phone is 0.6 watts.
    Like others have posted, the system controls the actual output of the phone and it is typicially much less than that, usually less than 100 milliwatts. The carriers utilize tower top amplifiers to boost the receive signal and make up for any losses in the transmission line leading to the receivers in the base stations so high power from the handheld device is rarely needed.
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