Concern about the environmental and possible health impact of large mobile network transmission stations, has led to Chester City Council and Cheshire County Council allowing BT to install small, low-powered transmitters on existing street furniture, like road signs, lamp posts and CCTV poles.
The discreet installations will be shared by the various mobile operators and will have a less visual impact in the heritage city of Chester and the surrounding rural areas of Cheshire.
The transmitters are only around 6in in diameter or length, and BT claims that at street level, the radiation exposure from the transmitters will be typically between a thousand and a million times below that from a mobile phone.
The small transmitters will also be used to help deliver 3G mobile services when they are eventually launched by the main mobile operators in the area. The councils say this was another major reason why BT was allowed to install the technology, with the promise of Chester and Cheshire becoming more attractive to inward investment as a result of comprehensive wireless data coverage.
Councillor Eveleigh Moore Dutton, Cheshire County Council executive member for ICT and communications, said: "This partnership offers the best of both worlds. It will enable businesses to stay competitive and should help attract more businesses to the area - without compromising best practice environmental health guidelines."
This article was part of Computer Weekly's enterprise mobile business channel, sponsored by Nokia