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Mobile base station locations

Following a conversation on the club Sunday net it became clear that information about mobile base station locations can be useful to amateurs when trying to resolve TVI problems (no point resolving their own problems if they then pick up LTE TVI). The Ofcom website used to host the useful Sitefinder map but this has recently been taken down.

Sitefinder was based on information provided by mobile operators. Sadly they no longer provide data as it would be available to their competitors under Freedom of Information legislation.

Although the Sitefinder information is now out of date (2012) it may still be useful as many base stations are still in the same place. A spreadsheet showing base station National Grid References is downloadable from the Ofcom website here: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/coverage/mobile-operational-enquiries.

The major changes since 2012 are that LTE has been added to many base stations. Some new base stations will have been built but these are probably fairly modest in number. A fair number have also been taken away, as some operators now share transmission facilities, however if you can see a mast it seems likely to be listed in the Ofcom spreadsheet.

Some LTE frequency allocations now use frequencies previously used for TV and which TVs and many TV aerials are designed to receive. The issue appears to be far less of a problem than had been feared but there is some risk of TVI. The base stations using these frequencies may not yet be fully rolled out and frequency usage liable to change, so the full effects may not yet be present. Consequently it may be a good idea to avoid pointing your TV antenna directly at a nearby mast even if things seem ok. See the at800 website for information on the LTE TVI issue.

Incidentally an interactive map showing predicted mobile coverage for all UK operators is on the Ofcom website here: http://maps.ofcom.org.uk/check-coverage

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