When coverage becomes complicated

4.09.2019

With 5G set to begin its roll out next year and many UK areas still struggling to get any phone signal, the deployment debate is livening up. 

But how would you like a huge antenna planted right in front of your scenic view? Calls have been made for phone masts to be installed without the council’s permission. 

Ever heard of a NIMBY? 

The ‘not in my back yard’ enthusiasts that don’t mind where you install an 82ft (or taller) phone mast, as long as it’s nowhere near their property. 

95% of 16-24 year olds own a smartphone.

People in the UK now check their smartphones, on average, every 12 minutes of the waking day. 

50% of adults say their life would be boring if they could not access the internet. 

Source: Ofcom 2018

5G connectivity will transform technology even further, making it part of our day to day lives even more than it is today. With driverless cars set to hit the roads, as well as Internet of Things (IoT) being at the forefront of all tech giants’ innovation, coverage will need to be exceptional across the whole of the UK. That means more masts.

Restrictions enforced currently mean that masts can be no taller than 82ft on public land. Decision makers need to address this as a barrier for the efficient deployment of 5G, especially in rural areas. 

The case for this to be changed is being presented by ministers who are aiming to remove the restrictions. They argue that making them “slightly taller” would greatly increase their coverage. They’re hoping to be able to place them wherever they please, without the council’s permission in order to roll out coverage everywhere, faster. 

Is this the inevitable for a world relying more and more on technology?

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