The environmental damage caused by the virtually free rein granted to the telecommunications industry is easily seen. Masts are sprouting on countless hilltops across the countryside and towns are blighted by unwelcome new landmarks. Masts can be placed in locations where other structures simply would not be considered.
Part of the problem is that mobile phone technology is based on radio signals which are weak, easily blocked and prone to interference. Operators look for the highest site to ensure each tower, which covers a radius only of just over half a kilometre, has direct contact with its neighbour.