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Quarter of Brits don't believe that cell towers improve phone reception

Potty idea. My radio doesn't need towers everywhere

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Just over three-quarters of UK residents recognise that being near a base station improves one's mobile reception, which makes one wonder how the rest think cellular phones work.

The numbers come from the Mobile Operators Association, which got YouGov to ask 2,500 people about mobile coverage and turned up that nugget along with the information that a third of us are now reliant on phone-based mapping, and that smartphones firmly outnumber their stolid brethren.

The 'Association is also keen to point out that while almost 70 per cent of us access government resources in our computers, one-tenth that number do so from a mobile phone, a figure the 'Association turns into a plea for more base stations.

For it is base stations, and where exactly they will be situated, that most concerns the Mobile Operators Association, which keeps itself busy running workshops for local councils who want to know how best to improve coverage for their constituents.

The 'Association also dutifully collects the network details of all four operators, including planned and exiting base stations, and sends them to local councils who ignore and delete them in roughly-equal proportions. Meanwhile, the whole exercise draws attention away from the fact that the UK's largest network operator (EE) is still refusing to tell us where its base stations are despite government advice that it should.

The number of base stations, nationally, should be in decline given the merging of network infrastructures, but as each base station has limited capacity, operators are also deploying more to handle additional traffic. And with LTE networks set to blanket the country, there will be a lot more sites needed, as differences in propagation will preclude the exclusive use of existing locations.

This in turn means more planning permissions, and more work for the Mobile Operators Association too. ®

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