Providers of cell phone service are reluctant to discuss the location and number of their area cell phone towers. Mobiledia provides a listing of cell phone towers at http://www.cellreception.com/towers/
Once on the Web site, key in a ZIP code or the name of a city and state to pull up a Google map and locate cell phone towers in the vicinity.
The list may be incomplete and does not describe the appearance of each tower. But going by data provided by Mobiledia, there are about 50 towers throughout New Hanover County and more than 20 in northern Brunswick County.
“I can tell you of the 90 sites AT&T will be adding in the Carolinas this year, three are scheduled for the Wilmington area,” says AT&T spokeswoman Amy Bristle.
Bristle says AT&T sometimes gets creative in its approach to cell phone towers.
“AT&T works closely with local communities to balance both zoning requirements and aesthetic concerns with customers’ need for reliable service,” she says. “This means we sometimes use a variety of approaches in locating our towers, such as installing them on water tanks or in church steeples or disguising one as a tree. In the Wilmington market most of the towers are of conventional design, though we also have some located on rooftops and water tanks.”
Sprint-Nextel spokesman John Taylor says divulging the locations of cell phone towers “would really be competitive information that would give our competitors some insight on providing service in your area.”
Theft of copper wire stored at cell phone tower sites is also on the increase, he says.
Camouflage towers are used by Sprint-Nextel. “We do work with churches and we do work with neighborhoods to configure more types of towers,” Taylor says.
Residents of wealthier areas often resist placement of cell phone towers nearby, but insist on good coverage, Taylor says.
“Around the country we’ve done flag poles and we’ve done towers of all types. Generally, those types of (towers) are more expensive to construct and a lot of it depends on the geography and local zoning,” he says.
Not all churches are amenable to placement of equipment in steeples or elsewhere on church property.
“Can it be a good source of income for a church? Absolutely, but it’s not for every congregation,” Taylor says.
Date posted: September 2, 2009
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