Telus Mobility is hoping to dial up its coverage in Trail by lifting the height of its existing 15-metre tower by 25 per cent.
The $250,000 investment comes after the city received several complaints about hit or miss spots in the city and after an investigation found that Waneta Plaza, the Trail Airport and Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital all have poor reception.
“Telus certainly understands that there are some coverage gaps in wireless around Trail,” said Telus spokesperson Shawn Hall. “When you increase the height of a tower its coverage extends and we’re also adding additional capacity so that will fill in coverage gaps around that downtown area and should improve coverage at the hospital as well.
Registered respiratory therapist Jon Marion said he often has a hard time receiving or making outgoing calls at the Trail hospital.
Don Brock, a Nelson resident who frequents the hospital to bring his girlfriend’s grandmother to dialysis, also has had to dance around the facility to find a clear spot to dial out.
Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs is pleased to hear the company is fully committed to finding a solution.
“We had a meeting with them after getting information from the airport, the Waneta mall area and also the hospital that reception was inconsistent, it was poor and at times it was a real problem,” he said.
The improvement to the tower, located at the central office across from the post office, is slated to start in January and completed by February. The increase should give it enough lift to fill in coverage gaps and a the same time the company plans on increasing its capacity to allow for more Internet and voice traffic at once.
An evaluation will then be completed to see whether a notable impact is made and if unsuccessful, the company may plan on taking the next step of installing a booster station and any other equipment necessary to fix the problem.
Telus is in the early stages now of looking into what else it can do to further increase coverage at the hospital and out toward the Waneta junction, said Hall, who noted the company is spending $1.8 billion in infrastructure this year alone across the country.