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‘Mobile Networks: What They Are and How They Work’

28 August 2013

The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) has produced a new guide to demystify some of the technical aspects of mobile phone networks.

‘Mobile Networks: What They Are and How They Work’ explains the main factors that determine why base stations need to be sited where they are. It has been produced to accompany the new Code of Best Practice on Mobile Network Development (2013), which provides guidance primarily to mobile network operators, their agents and contractors, and to local planning authorities in England.

John Cooke, Executive Director of the MOA said:”Almost every aspect of everyday life is now increasingly reliant on access to mobile networks. People want to make voice calls and send text messages, or access the Internet on their phone or tablet. Yet we often also hear some of the people who want to do so asking why the mast ‘can’t be put somewhere else’;  or why we need new masts, since there are already so many;  or else  folk want to know why their neighbour in the next street can get a better signal than they can. The guide aims to provide the answers to these and other common questions.”

He added: “The challenge for mobile network operators and for local planners is to balance environmental considerations with the provision of an advanced, high quality communications infrastructure which is essential for sustainable economic growth and plays a vital role in enhancing the provision of local community facilities and services. The guide has been developed to help planning officers and elected members of planning committees achieve this balance.”

Notes to Editors

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) represents the four UK mobile network operators – EE (the company that runs EE, Orange & T-Mobile in the UK), Telefónica, Three, and Vodafone – on radio frequency (RF) health and safety, and related town planning issues associated with the use of mobile phone technology.

2. ‘Mobile Networks: What they are and how they work’ is available at:  

3. The new Code of Best Practice on Mobile Network Development was developed by a Working Group consisting of representatives of: Arqiva; the Department for Communities and Local Government; the Department for Culture Media and Sport; the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; English Heritage; the Mobile Operators Association; National Parks England(also representing the Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty); and the Planning Officers Society. The Code: highlights the role of connectivity in society; sets out the respective roles of national government, local authorities, and network operators in telecommunications planning; and sets out good practice in the planning process. Detailed guidance is contained in a series of appendices. It is available at:

4. For more information please contact Christine Jude 07736 110787

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