18/10/2016 – A lot of you have been in touch about this article. It’s five years old now and sadly Ofcom have taken the decision to remove their Sitefinder system. There is, sadly, no easy way of locating your local mast on the internet, and Ofcom now publish coverage maps instead. It’s a shame and it makes “hidden” or “cloaked” masts more difficult to locate – as an example you could have a “flag pole” at a local primary school acting as a mast, but you may never know about it.
The article below remains for reference purposes..
Ever wanted to know where your mobile signal comes from ? For a while now Ofcom – the communications regulator here in the UK – have had a tool for showing your local transmitters. Problem was, it was rubbish. It’s now been given a huge facelift and, with the help of Google Maps, shows your local masts in Map view or Satellite View. You can then switch to Street View and see the mast yourself.. corr.. ;)
Here I’m looking in Birmingham for masts. It pin-points several. There’s many more than you think, especially in highly populated areas. I can switch to satellite view to see them. Unsurprisingly, a lot are on high buildings.
Click on the mast and it’ll tell you who operates it, how powerful it is, what frequency it operates on and whether it’s doing 3G (UMTS). This last bit of information is particularly useful if you’re thinking of switching providers and want to know if your place of work is really covered by 3G (I tend never to believe coverage checkers) :)
Link – Ofcom Sitefinder