Mobile phone giants want to build 165-foot masts in parts of the countryside where users struggle to get a signal. The taller structures would let the
Mobile phone giants want to build 165-foot masts in parts of the countryside where users struggle to get a signal.
The taller structures would let them transmit across larger distances meaning they would need fewer overall, they claim.
But campaigners fear the masts could ruin precious rural views and have instead called for firms to bolt equipment on to existing tall buildings such as churches.
Mobile phone companies are set to build 165-foot masts in parts of the countryside where users struggle to get a signal (stock photo)
The move comes after Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright told telecoms companies to eliminate signal black spots for 95 per cent of the UK. He warned them they could be forced to share infrastructure if they do not come up with a voluntary solution to tackle so-called ‘not spots’.
A quarter of the country still only has mobile coverage from two mobile operators at a time, with customers on other networks left without services.
Vodafone UK’s technology chief Scott Petty yesterday said there were plans to ensure 85 per cent of Britain had coverage from all four mobile operators – Vodafone, O2, Three and EE – but said planning rules limiting masts to a maximum height of 82ft had to change.
Daniel Carey-Dawes, of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: ‘There are solutions available, like fixing new masts to churches or farm buildings, and that’s what phone companies should focus on.’
Helen Lamprell, Vodafone UK’s external affairs chief, said: ‘Everybody wants their phone to work, nobody wants a mast.’