Cell On Wheels

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What Does Cell On Wheels Mean?

Cell on wheels (COW) is a portable mobile cellular site that provides temporary network and wireless coverage to locations where cellular coverage is minimal or compromised.

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COWs provide fully-functional service, via vehicles such as trailers, vans and trucks, to areas affected by natural disaster or areas with large user volume, such as major events.

COW is also known as a site on wheels.

Techopedia Explains Cell On Wheels

COW cellular tower equipment and mobile wireless communication machinery include cellular antenna and electronic radio transceiver devices. COW network backhaul communication is enabled via terrestrial microwave, satellite and wired infrastructure.

In the U.S., COW cellular service is mostly provided to areas with non-functioning stationary cell towers. COW is also used for long-term placement by telecommunication companies when permanent site building is impeded by financing or infrastructure limitations.

Engineering teams may facilitate COW placement on location to provide coverage with minimal costs. Extended COW use is determined by property owners.

In most cases, COWs do not provide equipment protection from lightning or power surges.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.