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BT hides mobile transmitters in street furniture

Preserving the aesthetics of Cheshire

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BT Wholesale has signed an agreement with Chester City Council and Cheshire County Council that will let it install low-powered mobile phone network transmitters from its Microconnect DA system on lampposts and street signs.

Once deployed, the micro-transmitters will mean better coverage for users of existing mobile phone services, in an area notorious for poor signal strength. The network could also clear the way for the introduction of new 3G applications.

The councils will receive no financial remuneration from BT. The teleco will instead provide in-kind support of the work of the local authorities, such as sponsorship of the area’s CCTV systems. The councils are also examining ways in which they may be able to make use of the technology.

Mark Rathbone,e-government manager at Chester City Council, told The Register: “This is not a case of an immediate deployment of technology, in is an agreement of principles between us and BT. BT is now undertaking radio surveys and working to establish demand for such a service from the mobile operators.”

He said the deal was done primarily to preserve the aesthetics of the city; but it is also vital that local signal quality improves.

BT says that when fixed at 4m above ground, exposure at street level is typically between 1,000 and one million times below that from a mobile phone. An enquiry line has been set up in case people have any comments about BT's distributed antenna system on 0800 389 3108. ®

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