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Mobile Phone Reception

Mobile Phone Reception

Mobile Phone Reception

Originally Published 12 August 2003

Following frequent requests from students and staff for improved mobile phone reception on campus, work has recently started on the roof of the Library to install additional mobile telecommunications base stations.

The University’s Safety Committee and Environment Committee gave the go-ahead to an innovative scheme, designed and managed by Commpro Telecommunications, to enhance mobile telecommunications coverage. The Mobile Phone Operators taking part in this scheme are T-Mobile, O2 and Vodafone, with an additional installation for telephone and data links to the Emergency Services.

The University will benefit from greatly improved coverage throughout the Campus, enhancing the quality of life for students who increasingly rely on mobile telephones to keep in touch with their families and friends.

The facility should prevent system overload and 'dropped calls' caused by too many users operating their phones at any given time.

Rodney Perry, Services Engineer in the Estates Office explains that the “University maintains its policy of not exceeding one-tenth of the internationally accepted radio-activity levels on campus”. Health & Safety issues have therefore been addressed to ensure this installation is fully compliant with the stringent ICNIRP standards, the National Radiological Protection Board, and the University’s own policy. Technically similar systems have been exhaustively tested elsewhere.

Increased coverage on campus will serve to reduce the exposure to radio waves of anyone using their handset. Signals from handsets are many times stronger than those being received from the base station itself. When phones need to pick up a relatively weak signal from a distant transmitter they have to emit full power; when the transmitter is close-by the phones are designed to work on minimum power, also reducing battery use. The activity from the base station is dependent on levels of mobile phone use at any given time. When mobile phone use is low, so too will be the activity of the base.

The Library scheme features a fully-screened design, which will be visually unobtrusive with all the antenna and other equipment installed behind white cladding especially manufactured for this installation.

The construction phase will be complete early next month, and University members using these networks should notice a marked improvement in reception once the equipment becomes 'live', by the start of term.

If you have any queries please contact Rodney Perry, Services Engineer in the Estates Office, extension 23404.