Difference between Cell Splitting and Cell Sectoring

Because of its rising economic importance and the ever-increasing number of users, capacity in cellular systems has emerged as a primary concern for the people who design these systems. There is a maximum number of users that may be accommodated by any given cellular system before either the quality or performance of that particular cellular system is negatively impacted.

As the number of users increases, so does the amount of traffic that occurs in a given period of time. As a consequence, the system progressively becomes more and more congested. As a result, the channel's capacity will continue to diminish, and new approaches will be necessary in order to create additional channels.

In this article, we will take a closer look at two distinct approaches, known as cell splitting and cell sectoring, that can be used to expand the capacity of a cellular telephone system.

What is Cell Splitting?

Subdividing a cell into two or more smaller cells is an immediate solution that can be used to reduce congestion and interference. This procedure is referred to as cell splitting. It is a process that divides an area of a cell or an independent coverage area of a cellular system into more cell areas, with each cell having its own base station and a subsequent reduction in antenna height and transmitter power.

Cell splitting is a process that divides the cells in high-traffic areas into a greater number of microcells, which are cells of a significantly smaller size. For this reason, an increased number of Base Stations would need to be built at the location where each new cell has been installed in order to achieve the desired result of increased capacity in heavily populated areas.

The objective of cell splitting is to boost the carrying capacity of a channel, enhance the availability and dependability of cellular telephone networks, and provide a greater degree of frequency reuse.

What is Cell Sectoring?

It is possible to improve the capacity of a cellular network to accommodate the growing number of users by exchanging the omnidirectional antenna at the base station for a number of directional antennas. This is one method. Another method is to add more base stations and this is what is known as Cell Sectoring.

In cell sectoring, each cell is subdivided into radial sectors with directional BS antennas in order to improve the performance of the system in order to combat the interference caused by co-channels. This is a highly prevalent method that is utilized in macro cellular systems.

In actual practice, a number of sectored antennas are mounted on a single microwave tower that is situated in the middle of the cell, and a following number of antennas are installed to cover the entire 360-degree area of the cell.

During the process of cell sectoring, the number of cells that make up a particular cluster is reduced, and the distance that separates co-channels is also brought closer together. Therefore, cell sectoring is the process of reducing co-channel interference in order to boost the capacity of the cellular system. This is accomplished by employing directional antennas for each sector that is contained within a cell.

Comparison between Cell Splitting and Cell Sectoring

The following table highlights the major differences between Cell Splitting and Cell Sectoring −

Basis of comparisonCell SplittingCell Sectoring
DefinitionA method in which an area of a cell or an independent coverage area of a cellular system is divided into two or more cell areas in order to accommodate more than one cell.A method in which a single cell is partitioned into a number of wedgeshaped sectors, each of which contains its own unique set of channels.
FunctionThis will result in a higher processing burden as well as an increased number of handoffs (base station transfers) each call.This feature reduces the efficiency of the trunking process by dividing the channel sets into smaller groupings.
OperationThe cell radius is shrunk but the co-channel reuse ratio is maintained at the previous level.The cell radius does not change, despite the fact that the co-channel reuse ratio has reduced.


There is a big difference between cell splitting and cell sectoring, despite the fact that they both aim to achieve the same thing, which is to expand the channel capacity of a cellular telephone network while also improving its reliability.

By subdividing an area of a cell into numerous smaller cell areas, also known as "cell splitting," a higher channel capacity can be achieved, which in turn provides an increase in the degree to which frequency reuse is achieved.

Cell sectoring, on the other hand, lessens the effects of co-channel interference by cutting down on the number of potential disturbances that each cell is subjected to. This is accomplished by dividing each cell into radial sectors using directional base station antennas. Installing a number of directional antennas that collectively cover all 360 degrees is one way to simulate the performance of an omni-directional antenna in a practical sense. This approach covers all of the available frequencies.