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To minimize interference, a certain distance must be maintained between cells using the same frequencies. However, this distance can be reduced without disturbing the cell reuse pattern. As the size of the cells are reduced, the same frequencies can be utilized in more cells, which in turn means more subscribers can be accommodated on the system.
Particularly in congested areas, the cellular operator often splits an existing cell into two or more smaller cells. New transceivers are placed and the power of the transmitters are reduced in order to confine the signals to the newly created cells.
For example, a cell that originally had a radius of 8 mi could be split into four cells with each new cell having a 2 mi radius. For the existing analog system, cell splitting is an effective way to increase system capacity, although some practical limitations are reached. Suitable locations for cell sites becomes more difficult and the processing load on the switch rapidly increase because handoffs are more frequent.
In cellular telephone system, co-channel interference can be decreased by replacing a single omnidirectional antenna with several directional antennas, each radiating within a smaller area.