Abstract: In a cellular radiotelephone system, a geographical area is divided into radio zones, each of which comprises a cell set, and a plurality of transponders which relay signals from portable units to the cell set, and from the cell set to the portable units. The use of transponders reduces the talk-back distance. This, in turn, results in a reduction of the power requirement of the portable units, which can therefore use smaller batteries and smaller transmitter components with a resulting reduction in size and weight. No hand-off takes place as the portable unit moves from transponder to transponder within the radio zone. Thus, the subdivision of the radio zone into transponder areas does not overburden the hand-off supervisory system.The number of channels assigned to a radio zone can be changed to suit conditions.