All things mobile

Can you spot the mast?

Saturday, 03 December 2022

The Scottish Government’s Scottish 4G Infill Programme (S4GI) is a £28.75 million initiative delivering 4G infrastructure and services in up to 55 mobile “notspots” in rural and remote parts of Scotland. S4GI is being delivered in partnership with WHP Telecoms and the Scottish Futures Trust, and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support activity in the Highlands and Islands.

Depending on where a mast is being built, there can be some restrictions put in place by the site provider. When the S4GI mast at Inverchoran, Highland was being planned, the site provider was happy to accommodate a tower with the proviso that it had to be virtually invisible.   

The WHP Telecoms design and build team worked extensively on how to design and deliver the site as the only suitable location in this area was a bank within a mature forest with 30-metre-high trees. In order to ensure that environmental and visual impact were reduced to a minimum, the site was built using the following methods:

  • Tree coverage was kept around three sides of the compound to disguise the site.
  • A retaining wall was built on one side of the compound.
  • A river-crossing specialist methodology was introduced rto reduce environmental impact.
  • An agreement to protect nesting eagles was put in place. This meant that building could only take place during an exclusion period.
  • Extensive drone footage was presented to the site provider to demonstrate the minimal impact that the mast would have when viewed from various locations.

As you will see from the picture, the result was a 40-metre mast which will provide 4G to this community for the first time all whilst still remaining virtually invisible.

Can you spot the mast?