There are about 70 million mobile phones in use in the UK - that's more than one phone for every person. Many people have a work and a personal mobile, or a mobile and a laptop datacard, and mobile phones are used in at least 85 per cent of all households.
This large number of mobile phones cannot work without the network infrastructure needed to route connections. And installations must be placed close to where people use their phones.
Government policy is to help the growth of new and existing telecommunications systems while minimising the environmental impact.
Like any other applicant, mobile operators can appeal against planning authority refusals.
While health and related concerns, such as the perception of risk, can be material considerations as a matter of law, the Government has advised that the planning regime is not the appropriate place for determining health safeguards.
Q: How many base station sites are there?
This section provides an overview of how mobile phone networks operate, providing guidance on deploying base stations and the planning and environmental considerations that should be taken into account.