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Mobile Phone Mast Installation

Asking for advice who to contact

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Simon Williams 315/04/2018 12:31:31
617 forum posts
81 photos

Good morning all, this may be a bit off piste but I'd be grateful for the expert knowledge of the forum as always.

I live in an area of absolutely no mobile phone coverage whatsoever. My local church has a 200 ft high spire. You can see where this is going.

The establishment Church of England has decided to approve in principle the installation of mobile phone masts on its properties. There are all sorts of caveats to circumnavigate because it is a listed building etc, but in principle it provides a potential income stream for the parish church.

Does anyone know how to contact the principle mobile phone providers engineering departments to start the dialogue going. We've had less than no success contacting BT Customer Services (an oxy moron) and the whizz kids in Vodaphone' High Street shop don't understand the question

Any ideas?

John Haine15/04/2018 12:44:59
4272 forum posts
251 photos

Simon, I have some contacts but you may be better off going to these people or others like them who act as agents and will be able to help with setting rent etc.

One of the problems you have is that the reason you have no coverage is not for the lack of a site (as churches have been used as sites for several years) but the fact there isn't a good business case for mobile service where you are. It costs the thick end of a million to establish a site by the time they have done the engineering, bought the equipment, set up links (which for 4G that they are building out now have to be ~100 Mbit/s) and so on and if there aren't enough additional users it won't pay off.. And just one isolated site is not a lot of help unless it helps to give coverage across a larger area. So with luck there will be an operator planning a rollout over your region and looking for new sites. However, it is extremely unlikely that they will not already be aware of your tower as they have very complete geographic databases used for identifying sites and planning coverage.

Depending on where you are there could be other operators looking for sites - for example in rural Essex there is a Wi-Fi based broadband operator and a church in a neighbouring village has their equipment on its tower.

Roger Williams 215/04/2018 15:58:09
338 forum posts
1 photos

Wish we had no mobile phone coverage, nobody talks to each other any more. Sick to the back teeth of trying to converse with people( including our kids) who just cant stop gawping at their phones.

Sorry for the rant.

Andrew Johnston15/04/2018 16:29:14
6316 forum posts
677 photos
Posted by Roger Williams 2 on 15/04/2018 15:58:09:

Wish we had no mobile phone coverage..................

Move to Cambridge!

I have recently moved into the world of smart phones and 4G. At home (5 miles from Cambridge) I'm lucky to get one bar or two at most. At work (even closer to Cambridge) no 4G signal. At the local gliding club (high up) may be one bar. Up north the other week at Milfield (near Wooler in Northumberland) four bars on 4G no problem. But Northumberland is the least populated county in England! I'd agree that phone coverage is driven by money, but the algorithms seem way off.


Muzzer15/04/2018 17:38:38
2904 forum posts
448 photos

A fairly discrete phone mast saved the tower at my M-I-L's church. It was in need of serious funding to address the cost of essential repairs that they were struggling to find. It was starting to disintegrate, with masonry landing in the car park below. They now have the finance on an even keel - and the resident pair of Peregrine falcons have a secure home. I would add a link to the local Blackpool Gazette but it is so laden with adverts that it is almost unreadable - perhaps they should get a mast installed to subsidise their business too.


Simon Williams 316/04/2018 12:41:23
617 forum posts
81 photos

Well, many thanks to all of you for the collected expertise!

I take the point about the viability of an installation in commercial terms, though the current edict from government to the mobile phone operators to fill in the gaps in the coverage map seems perhaps to point the other way. We'd be pleased with 2G never mind 4G!

Thanks especially to John Haine for the link to "The Phone Mast Company". I've just spoken to them and they seem like just the connection (pun intended) we're looking for. However their advice at present is to do a Brer Rabbit ("sit tight and do nutting" ) as there is some complication introduced by new regulations. If I've understood correctly it amounts to the power of compulsory purchase on behalf of the service provider. Not sure how that's going to work with a Church dating back to the twelfth century, but heigh ho. If Vodafone want to buy our church and pay for a new roof that seems like a result. But the world doesn't work like that!

Best rgds to all, and again, many thanks for the expertise and generosity.


edited to evict a winky yellow gargoyle....

Edited By Simon Williams 3 on 16/04/2018 12:42:48

Bodger Brian16/04/2018 13:39:00
187 forum posts
40 photos

If your church has bells, I would strongly advise ensuring that the local bell-ringers are on board prior to any planning for installation of any telecoms equipment. I've heard a few horror stories about installations that have caused difficulties for ringers or even prevented ringing of the bells.

The Central Council of Church Bell ringers (CCCBR) has produced a leaflet giving guidance in this respect :-


If there is no local band, pay particular heed to the penultimate paragraph.


George Clarihew16/04/2018 21:02:31
80 forum posts
Posted by Roger Williams 2 on 15/04/2018 15:58:09:

Wish we had no mobile phone coverage, nobody talks to each other any more. Sick to the back teeth of trying to converse with people( including our kids) who just cant stop gawping at their phones.

Sorry for the rant.

No need to be sorry, I agree.

Worth a look

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