Increased mobile signal coming to village 'not spot'
PUBLISHED: 13:33 04 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:08 04 December 2019
A much needed 17.5m telephone antenna could solve mobile signal issues for thousands of people in a Norfolk village.
Cornerstone and Telefonica UK, which trades as O2, have applied to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to build a 17.5m telecommunications base station in Sea Palling, which is expected to provide 98pc coverage.
The land at Hall Farm, off Stalham Road, would be partially used by the company to build a lattice tower with three antennas, two dishes and four cabinets within a fenced compound.
The plans have been put forward as part of the compulsory Smart Meter rollout, which has a deadline of 2020.
A spokesperson from Cornerstone said: "O2 customers expect to be able to use their mobiles and devices where they live, work and travel.
"As part of the smart metering requirements locally we have proposed a base station site at Hall Farm, Sea Palling, which will improve coverage for O2 customers in Sea Palling.
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"The proposed base station will provide 2G, 3G and 4G services."
In some areas of the country, the smart meters contain a sim card which connects to the O2 network to enable them to operate.
Due to poor connectivity in rural areas, such as Sea Palling, smart meters cannot be rolled out without installing the infrastructure necessary to connect them.
In the pre-application consultation letter to NNDC, Cornerstone said: "The infrastructure needed to enable the smart meter to operate is also the same as that needed for 2G, 3G and 4G service provision for Telefonica UK Limited.
"The smart meter roll-out has meant that there is now a viable opportunity to finally fill these rural holes in service provision bringing them into the 21st century technological age."
After reviewing various sites in Sea Palling, the land at Hall Farm was "carefully considered", Cornerstone said, and added: "It is situated on private farm land, well away from the highway and residential properties behind a number of farm buildings."
When asked about the possibility of 5G signal coverage, Cornerstone said: "We wouldn't have any proposed dates for 5G at this point."
The planning permission will now be put to NNDC and will be subject to approval.