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Plan to improve cell service

MASON — Updates to AT&T Mobility antennas that top the Mason Congregational Church will bring improved cell phone service to the area, as part of the company’s attempts to bring more 4G coverage to rural towns.

Fourth-generation technology, or 4G technology, is the most advanced version of cell phone technology available, and allows increased speed to accommodate mobile web browsing and gaming.

AT&T currently has three antennas on top of the church, which are housed inside a fiberglass steeple about 68 feet high.

The existing antennas are Global System for Mobile, or GSM, antennas, which are the most common type of cellular network. Most phones have receivers for GSM antennas. However, modern smartphones have additional antenna receivers for new technologies, such as Internet browsing. GSM antennas can support those technologies, but at speeds consistent with 3G technology.

Removing the antennas and replacing them with new ones will give Mason’s AT&T mobile customers access to 4G LTE technology. Of the 4G technologies, LTE is known as the fastest browsing technology available, and can be up to 10 times faster than a phone using 3G technology, according to AT&T’s website.

The only other New Hampshire town currently equipped with AT&T 4G LTE antennas is Nashua, according to AT&T’s coverage map. Mason borders the town of New Ipswich, as well as the state of Massachusetts.

AT&T has contracted EBI Consulting, a environmental and historical risk management company based in Burlington, Mass., to address any concerns connected with updating the antennas on the historic Mason Congregational Church, which was constructed in 1837.

Anyone with comments or concerns about the potential affect the updates may have on the property can send comments to EBI Consulting, at 21 B St. in Burlington, Mass., or by calling 781-273-2500. The project reference number is 61127061.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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