5G Rural Areas Could See Bigger And Taller Masts

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5G Rural Areas Could See Bigger And Taller Masts

Bigger and taller mobile phone masts could be built without councils’ permission across the countryside, under a proposed overhaul of planning rules in England.

It is part of government plans to speed up the roll out of 5G networks and improve mobile coverage in rural areas.

Currently masts on public land must be no more than 25m (82ft) high but ministers want to relax these rules.

Labour says “bolder” plans are needed to boost the UK digital infrastructure.

5G, which uses higher frequency waves than earlier mobile networks, would allow more devices to have access to the internet at the same time and at faster speeds.

However, 5G networks require more transmitter masts than previous technologies.

Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan, who has launched a consultation on the plans, said “slightly taller” masts would mean they could carry more equipment and “potentially stop the proliferation of other masts – or even take away some”.

Asked if new masts could double in height, she said “Let’s ask the question and see what it is people need.”

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She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme there has to be a balance struck between the landscape and better connectivity.

“This is about broader digital connectivity. So we will obviously look to the mobile companies and those installing those infrastructures to see what it is they actually need.

“And the point is there has to be a balance struck. We all want better phone signal. We all want to be able to download things much more quickly so we have to have the infrastructure there,” she said.

“We have to make sure it’s done in a sensitive way, it respects certain areas of outstanding natural beauty.”

On the possible involvement of Chinese firm Huawei in any rollout, she said: “I would hope that we can¬†do something by the autumn,”¬†adding that it has to be a decision “for the long term, making sure that we keep all our networks secure”.

5G Rural Areas Could See Bigger And Taller Masts

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