The height of a radio tower can range from 200 to 500 feet (60 to 150 meters). In the United States, there are about 2,000 radio towers, which are used for broadcasting television and radio signals, cellular phone networks, wireless internet access, and other communication services.
The construction of a radio tower requires extensive engineering to support its weight. The tower’s base is constructed with concrete to ensure the structure has the strength to withstand weight and vibration. The tower’s top is made of metal to protect from weather and wind.
A radio tower may be located in urban areas or rural areas, depending on its service requirements. Telecommunications companies choose sites with a strong signal strength, avoiding sites that are too high or low, such as mountains.
Radio towers also provide protection for a variety of wildlife species, including sensitive frogs and salamanders. The towers are situated to protect a diverse habitat of upland pine and hardwood forests, along with forested wetlands.
Several types of radio towers can be installed, including self-supporting lattice and guyed structures. Typically between 150 and 250 feet tall, lattice towers are less expensive to build than guyed towers and can be used in smaller areas.
Guyed towers are typically between 250 and 500 feet tall, and are utilized primarily in more rural sections of the country to maximize coverage. These towers are supported by guy wires that run on three sides. This type of tower usually requires a lease of several acres of land from the owner, who is allowed to keep grazing rights under the wires.