More cell service on its way

A new telecommunications tower will give Mission residents more choices

Mission council will throw its support behind a plan to build a telecommunications tower near the corner of Lougheed Highway and Shook Road if the applicant, Scott Telecom Services Inc. (STS), agrees to minimize its visual impact by making it look like a tree native to the area.

STS representative, Vanessa Cartwright, said her company did a photo simulation and built the tower like a pine tree, but explained the tower is 57.9 metres high and the trees in the area are only about half that height.

“It doesn’t work with the existing trees,” she said. She recommended painting the tower grey to blend in with the sky, but said her company will work whatever council requested.

“I don’t care if it’s a palm tree, pine tree or cedar hedge,” said Mayor Ted Adlem. “It should be more than just a tower; it’s the entrance to our community.”

The proposed tower will be able to accommodate four cell phone carriers, including Wind Mobile, which would be the anchor tenant and Rogers. The tower would improve service for Rogers customers and bring Wind Mobile services to the area.

“Wind Mobile at the moment has no coverage in this area,” said Cartwright.

The proposal was presented to council earlier this year, but the group chose to delay their decision until they could address some concerns, mostly about health and visual impact.

Coun. Nelson Tilbury agreed there is a lack of cell phone service in some areas in Mission and suggested with all the features of a smart phone these days, cellular service provides more than just a phone call. Someone with a GPS app could use it if they’re lost, he said.

Tilbury also noted Health Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society don’t have concerns about these towers.

The application will now be sent to Industry Canada which has the final say on whether or not the tower can proceed.