Why are higher and wider masts are being rolled out across the UK?

In response to the BBC article, CEO of Frequency Telecom Gareth Limpenny, a leader in mobile communications, responds to the news that the government will be allowing higher, wider masts in remote parts of the UK.

BBC News Article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56805844

Thanks to government delays, 15% of UK homes and businesses, particularly in rural areas, will be left with slow and expensive broadband for many years to come, widening the digital divide.

However, one scheme, the Shared Rural Network may be able to provide a quicker solution to connectivity by delivering 4G coverage to 95% of the UK by 2026, enabling rural businesses and communities to thrive.

Part of the Shared Rural Network is the rollout of these higher or new masts.

Why the need for higher masts?

As it currently stands, the UK is “under-mast’d” and these new or higher masts allow mobile signal to reach over things like buildings and trees to hugely improve the area covered.

One big positive is that in truly rural areas, where there are not so many users, increasing the height of existing masts could mean that you may not need to add new masts to cover areas not currently covered.

But on the other hand, if you have an existing indoor coverage problem, then making the mast that is serving you higher is unlikely to make the indoor mobile coverage better. This is when a mobile signal booster is needed. 85% of all mobile phone usage takes place indoors. A mobile signal booster will take the signal that is available outside, amplify it and broadcast it inside the residential, business or commercial premises.

It’s important to add also that even in urban areas mobile signal can struggle to get into buildings because of the building construction materials used, such thick external and internal walls which block mobile signals.

Gareth brings with him years of industry expertise and talks about these masts in a nuanced way and draw on both the positives and potential drawbacks.

Listen now to the interview on Shared Radio with Adam Cox.

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