Cell phone towers could be up to 30 meters tall to improve rural connectivity Science & Tech News
Cellular companies could be allowed to build taller masts in rural areas as part of government plans to improve connectivity.
The proposals would reduce the time and cost of building a new phone infrastructure while minimizing the visual impact, according to the Ministry of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Masts can be up to five meters higher, ie a maximum of 30 meters in most areas and a maximum of 25 meters in protected areas such as national parks. The suggestions only apply to England.
These would be smaller than the 50 meter long cell phone companies.
However, the Emox News said they would still be big enough for operators to attach more devices and make them easier to share.
Telephone companies would be incentivized to upgrade existing masts instead of building new ones, meaning fewer new masts would be needed to give better signals to rural communities.
Existing masts could be reinforced without a permit so that they could be upgraded for 5G and shared between operators.
This would mean that they could increase the width by up to 50% or two meters (whichever is the largest) and the height to a maximum of 25 meters, although a local authority could approve larger increases.
Most new masts would still have to be approved by local authorities, and conditions and limits would remain in place to ensure stakeholders are properly consulted and the environment is protected, the department said.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said, “We want to balance the country and end the plague of inconsistent and poor cellular signals in rural communities.
“Today we plan to make it easier for wireless companies to transform connectivity in the countryside and drive villages and towns out of the digital dark age – a welcome boost for millions of families, businesses and visitors.
“These practical changes strike a balance between removing unnecessary obstacles that prevent better coverage and protecting our precious landscape.”
A consultation on the changes ends on June 14th.
Hamish MacLeod, Director of Mobile UK, said: “We welcome the proposals made in this consultation that provide greater security and flexibility for the technological changes required to build world-class cellular networks.
“We urge the government to support mobile phone companies in achieving their ambitious operational goals and to bring about legislative changes as soon as possible.”