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Most Planners Satisfied with Mobile Phone Operators Annual Development Plans

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17 March 2008

Local planners across the UK have again responded positively to the mobile phone operators’ annual development plans for 2008. This is the third year running that the plans have been distributed electronically by the Mobile Operators Association (MOA). 

Almost all (95%) of the 139 planners who responded to a satisfaction survey were pleased the plans had been provided electronically and jointly from one source as it made it easier to share the information both within their authorities and with the public. Eighty five per cent said the plans had met or exceeded their expectations.

In addition, 53 councils have taken up the offer of a meeting with all the operators to discuss the plans – twice as many as in 2005/6 when the plans were first sent out electronically and up from almost 10 per cent in 2006/7 to 12 per cent in 2007/8.

Mike Dolan, Executive Director of the MOA said; “The response to our third combined electronic annual development plans is steadily improving. We hope that that this trend continues when the next set of plans are sent out in Autumn 2008.” He added, “This initiative gives local authorities an improved opportunity to have direct and early input into the mobile network development process.”

The planners’ satisfaction with the annual development plans was monitored by a questionnaire. Comments from planners included:

“We don't have a mast register at present but will use this spreadsheet to help create one”

“I can confirm that the Council found the rollout extremely beneficial and proved to be a useful tool in the planning process”

The MOA has had positive comments from attendees at the annual development plans meetings held since the 2007/8 plans were issued:

“A two-way discussion is essential for both sides to understand the others point of view.”

“I thought it was useful to meet informally without the pressure of a formal proposal.”

Notes to Editors

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA), formerly part of the FEI, was set up to represent the five UK mobile phone network operators - 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone - on radio frequency health and town planning issues. The MOA website is: www.mobilemastinfo.com

2. Under the ‘Ten Commitments to best siting practice’, the mobile operators have undertaken to provide local planning authorities on an annual basis with plans showing their existing sites and network proposals for the following 12 months. Since 2001 this has provided planning authorities with a "look ahead" at the forthcoming mobile development in their area and the opportunity to discuss the proposals with the operators well ahead of the formal planning application process.

3. If councils wish to take up the offer of a meeting on the 2007/8 annual development plans or combine a meeting with a telecoms training session they can contact Nicola Davies at the MOA, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

4. The UK mobile phone operators implemented the Ten Commitments to best
siting practice in 2001.  Key elements of this initiative are improved transparency, more publicly available information and improved communication and consultation with local authorities and the public.

5. For more information please contact Christine Jude 0207 331 2029, 07714 241924, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

61% of UK adults access the internet from mobiles

Mobile phones cannot work without a network of base stations (masts). There are approximately 52,500 base station sites (excluding microcells) in the UK. Only a third of these are large, free standing masts. A YouGov survey for MOA (Sept 2014) showed that nearly 8 out of 10 people recognise the link between masts and good mobile coverage. Mobile telecommunications are vital for the UK’s economic competitiveness and in promoting social inclusion. There are now 89.9 million mobile subscriptions in the UK. In Q1 2015 61 per cent of UK adults used their mobile phones for internet access. Tablet ownership is 54% of UK households.

No Established Health Effects

Mobile phones operate by using radio waves, similar to those that have been widely used for decades, for example in radio, TV and radar signals. A large number of studies over the last two decades have found no clear evidence of adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones or from phone masts.