How Many Cell Towers Are in the US?

With the increased number of wireless devices and smartphones, it is understandable that the number of cell towers also increases. But is this new number of cell towers safe, and how many cell towers are in the US exactly? You can read this and much more information regarding this topic in the continuation of this article. 

How Many Cell Towers Are in the US

How Many Cell Towers Are in the US?

If you are wondering how many cell towers are in the US, you are not the only one. With the nationwide rollout of the 5G network, the number of cell towers kept rising at incredible speed, leading to an estimated 185,000 cell towers across the entire US. 

As this number sounds quite scary at first, I wanted to dig a little deeper and see what the effects of these cell towers on people are and whether they can cause more significant harm to people’s health. One of the many inspirations to write this article was this particular study, which closely monitored and researched the direct impact of cell towers on people’s well-being.

So, that said, let’s jump straight into the article and discover some new things.

How many 2G cell towers are in the US?

When it comes to the 2G cell towers, most of them are already gone because the majority of the cell phone service providers decided to shut down this technology. Although you can still find a few 2G cell towers, they are scattered around the entire US and do not represent any significant number.

Additionally, it is estimated that by 2030 there will not be any 2G cell towers left altogether with the 2G network. 

How many 3G cell towers are in the US?

As with the 2G, the case with the 3G is the same. Because this technology is also slowly but surely shutting down, the 3G towers across the US are decreasing in number. With the fact that the 3G technology was introduced around 2001, it is only logical that this network is slowly going away, leaving a place for newer and better technology to take over.

How many 4G towers are in the US?

Opposite to the 2G and 3G, the situation with the 4G is drastically different. Namely, as this network technology is still widely in use across the entire United States, the 4G towers are maybe one of the most numerous.

On average, it is estimated that there are around 80,000 to 90,000 4G cell towers in the US, which is even scary to think about. One good thing is that the 4G cell tower number will not increase drastically because of the 5G technology taking over.

How many 5G towers are in the US?

As you already know, the 5G technology is the newest and biggest thing regarding cell networks. That said, although there is still not enough scientific evidence whether this network is more harmful than the previous versions, one thing is for sure. As the 5G has a shorter range compared to the 4G, for example, if the cell tower is far enough from people, which it usually is, the impact on people’s life should not be anything concerning. But, as I’ve said, more research needs to be done.

Additionally, as of 2022, the number of 5G cell towers is expected to be around 75,000, and the number of cell sites around 350,000

Finally, because the 5G technology takes over, instead of building new cell sites and cell towers, the ones that transmit the 4G network will simply be transformed to transmit the 5G network. This means that the number of cell towers should not increase dramatically, at least in the next five to ten years.

Cell tower radiation

Which companies have the most cell towers as of 2022 in the US?

CompanyNumber of Cell Towers
American Tower43,000
Crown CastleSBA Communications40,000
Vertical Bridge17,363
Harmoni Towers9,000
Tillman Infrastructure1,682

Cell tower radiation

First, I would like to begin with which type of radiation cell towers emit. Namely, as you probably already know, there are many different types of radiation, but the one I will be looking at is non-ionizing radiation, which is the one that the cell towers emit. 

The characteristic of this type of radiation is that it does not have enough energy to be able to detach electrons. That said, non-ionizing radiation includes:

  • Infrared
  • Radiofrequency waves
  • Visible light
  • Microwaves

Sources of non-ionizing radiation

The sources of non-ionizing radiation can be natural or artificial.

Natural sources of non-ionizing radiation
  • Light and heat from the sun
  • The Earth’s natural magnetic and electric fields
  • Lightning
The biggest artificial sources of non-ionizing radiation

What is a safe distance from the cell tower?

Now that we have seen and gotten familiar briefly with the type of radiation the cell towers emit, it is time to see which distance is considered a safe distance from a cell tower. That said, anywhere around 25 feet and up is considered a safer distance from a cell tower. As cell towers are usually strategically built much further than where people live, maintaining this distance should not be a problem.

Potential health hazards from a large number of cell towers

With the fact in mind that there are around 419,000 cell sites and around 185,000 cell towers all across the US, it is no wonder that people are getting concerned for their health and are interested in the potential hazards from the large cell tower numbers.

By exposing yourself extremely close to the radiating beam of the antenna, you will get exposed to higher doses of RF energy, which might have some temporary health consequences such as dizziness, blurry vision, irritation, headache, etc.

Moreover, the health hazard might be even greater when you live close to a tower cell, have too many wireless devices in your home, etc. The possible long-term effects of continuous exposure to RF radiation can be extremely serious and even life-threatening. 

Although a lot more research is needed to prove this scientifically, this scientific study and other research have shown devastating results in long-term exposure to cell tower radiation, such as negative neurobehavioral effects, increased brain tumors in younger people and even children, oxidative damage, negative impact on sperm count, quality, and motility in men, possible negative impact on female’s oocytes, migraine, etc.


In this article, you could have read how many cell towers are in the US, what type of radiation they emit, and the possible health hazards. That said, although more research needs to be done, the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from RF radiation is to eliminate all unnecessary wireless devices in your home so that you take the RF radiation to the minimum.

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Scott Freeman

Scott Freeman is a seasoned expert in EMF protection with over 10 years of experience in the field. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master's in Environmental Science, Scott possesses a unique blend of technical and environmental knowledge. Throughout his career, he has been dedicated to researching, developing, and promoting effective EMF protection products that prioritize both safety and efficiency. Scott's passion for helping others make informed decisions has made him a sought-after speaker and writer on the subject of electromagnetic field safety.

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