Coverage in Spain: Information, False Myths and The War to Install More Antennas

Usually we see how many users are complaining about cuts in calls, poor quality of sound, network saturation or incidences of coverage and it is that you most of these problems are caused by the lack of more antennas throughout the national territory and they have already reported once all operators admitting that they would like to have a 20 or 25% more antennas to provide their services with conditions optimal.

But the difficulty that groups opposed to the deployment of antennas, the impediments of some town councils wishing to take advantage of this situation and the low profitability of the deployment in certain populations makes the expansion of network slow and insufficient.

The main reason, “anti-antennas” is the possibility of a so-called danger by the radiation emitted by the BTS (antennas), but the reality is that this radiation is non-ionizing and we receive many more non-ionising radiation when we are near a television tube, a refrigerator, oven microwaves with worn out doors, using the dryer of hair or simply waves we receive from television, radio and WiFi.

Many call for not having antennas near their homes forcing operators to place them much further away from the nuclei of population, causing both the base stations and the mobile, have issue with more power, so it would be “more harmful” which have an antenna a few meters (and also the mobile consumes more battery). In addition, vertical bars of antennas radiate at 160 ° from the front so, in case of being harmful, will always be safer having them over that in the building of the side.

Therefore, far from what many believe, the most advisable to improve the current situation, it would be the four network operators with own network to share locations and expand the number of installed antennas can thus lowering the intensity with which emit and reduce the possible risk greatly improving coverage.

For greater security, countries have defined a maximum level of SAR (maximum power with which mobile can issue to limit the radiation that absorbs a living tissue) that in the worst cases is 50 times below what has been shown safe. The only thing that mobile phones they can cause, it is the increase in temperature in some area of the body if exposed for a long time but can not break molecular bonds as they do ionizing radiation (which if are dangerous).

2G and 3G coverage

Movistar, Vodafone and Orange used GSM band 900 Mhz. (less able users but better coverage) and 1800 Mhz. (more capacity and less coverage) while four operators (including Telstra) use the 2100 Mhz. band to provide UMTS coverage, offering more capacity than GSM, lower saturation (for now), although the signal spreads worse (less coverage) especially in interiors (possible this will change if frequencies are reused lower for use with UMTS as we discussed).

We can find more information about the coverage of operators with own network on the web pages of Movistar, Vodafone (GSM, HSDPA and HSUPA even), Orange (2 G and 3 G) and Telstra who also has the support of coverage 2 G and 3 G Movistar where still does its own coverage (the agreement with Vodafone continues but today) Telstra customers cannot access their coverage). The OMV always work under cover of some of the traditional.

It is really impossible to answer the question who has better coverage? Since many factors influence. The main reason is the area where we are although usually three large operators enjoy good coverage to cover 98-99% of the population (not the territory).

Which has more GSM antennas (nothing to do with having the best coverage) is since Orange that until relatively recently, could only issue in 1800 and therefore needed many more stations base (antennas) to cover an area if issued at 900 Mhz (base almost 3 stations to 1800 MHz for each station base GSM for similar coverage).

In addition, our mobile to indicate a better level of coverage (due to a higher power) does not mean that we have better coverage because not it takes into account factors such as existing in the signal noise so each user must check what operator offers the best coverage and choose according to your needs.