Plans for two mobile phone towers on hold in Morisset as Telstra and Optus consider shared tower arrangement

RECEPTION: Boost.

RECEPTION: Boost.

PROPOSALS for two mobile phone towers in Morisset have stalled as Telstra and Optus consider a request from Lake Macquarie City Council to explore operating from a single shared tower.

Last year, Optus submitted plans to erect a 35-metre mobile phone tower in Kalef Avenue, to boost mobile phone reception and data services in and around the Morisset industrial area.

Telstra later submitted plans for a 40-metre monopole in a corner of Morisset Showground, in Ourimbah Street.

In assessing the proposals, council has asked each proponent to consider a co-location arrangement.

The prospects for such an arrangement aren’t good.

A spokesperson for Optus told the council the telco had received some preliminary feedback “that the proposed Optus facility is not suitable for the Telstra network objectives”.

The spokesperson said Optus had also explored the possibility of co-locating its equipment at the Telstra site, but “due to the location, terrain and the Optus network requirements, the potential co-location on the Telstra tower does not meet the network, service and operational objectives for Optus”.

PROPOSAL: An artist's impression of how the Telstra mobile phone tower and associated infrastructure would look at Morisset Showground. Picture: Supplied

PROPOSAL: An artist's impression of how the Telstra mobile phone tower and associated infrastructure would look at Morisset Showground. Picture: Supplied

Morisset Showground Trust secretary Rosmairi Dawson said improving mobile reception in the town was paramount.

“Morisset has so many black spots for mobile reception,” she said.

Telstra negotiated with Crown Lands before arriving at the phone tower site near the entry to the showground. Ms Dawson said the trust supported the proposal.

In documents presented to council, Telstra said the proposed tower would address the problem of poor reception and calls that dropped out, as well as provide a greater range of mobile phone services for customers, including transmission of live video, and faster data speeds for uploads and downloads.

Council is awaiting a formal response from the telcos on the co-location proposal.

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