Expatica news

Plea for mobile phone maststo meet summer demand

12 August 2004

MADRID – Mobile phone operators said on Thursday that the number of permanent antennas along the coast of Spain needs to grow by 50 percent to guarantee good coverage during the summer holiday peak.

That would mean some 2,000 new installations between the provinces of Huelva on the Portuguese border and Girona on the French frontier.

Faced with the population of some resort towns growing eightfold during the summer holidays, the three operators – Telefonica, Vodafone and Amena – say there are just too many “regulatory shackles” when it comes to increasing coverage to meet such sudden surges in demand.

There are currently between 500 and 600 different regulations covering cellular phone communications in Spain, they say.

Over the country as a whole, at least 20 percent more antennas need to be erected on top of the 30,000 already functioning. But to fully cater for third-generation mobile services, the number of fixed antennas would need to rise by another 15,000 over the next five years.

Among the worst provinces for regulatory obstacles are Valladolid and Valencia, although “the problem is fairly generalised” they said.

To cover the increased summer demand the only solution at present is to install ‘portable’ antennas on trucks, which can be moved around according to needs.
The phone companies hope the national commission on antennas, which meets again next month, will help find a consensus with all the different authorities involved in the issuing of regulations.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news