Have you spotted a hidden mobile phone mast ?

Many moons ago we ran a story showing how mobile phone masts are disguised. Three were using several techniques to hide their kit and still are. Currently they have nearly 12,700 sites around the UK but their high frequency 3G spectrum can have problems penetrating buildings. The recent BBC Signal Survey pointed out the challenges that all networks face on a daily basis.

O2’s chief technology officer, Nigel Purdy, put it bluntly..

“Everyone craves good coverage but when we rock up to build a site near them it can cause problems.”

This is an issue and, by hiding the base station, it perhaps reduces the chance of complaints. Recently, while stuck in traffic, I noticed that a flag pole on a nearby petrol station was actually a “monopole” painted white. Trees are another favourite, with some masts and microwave dishes being hidden in life-like greenery.

Just yesterday I was stuck in traffic again and noticed a strange telegraph pole, complete with steps. It seemed a little too new and didn’t have any cables hanging from the top. It was, in fact, another monopole. There’s a couple of websites showing more “discrete” base stations – Cellsites and Mike P’s site show some of the masts that you may not have noticed.

Let us know if you’ve got a “secret” mast near you, we’d love to get some photos. Here’s the “telegraph pole” one I saw the other day…

..and here’s a selection of shots from Mike P’s site