A Christmas tree
Vodafone say tall Christmas trees are causing customers in Cwmbran to have problems getting a signal

A post on this blog earlier today linked to a forum on the Vodafone website. At that time the forum featured over 60 comments from people unhappy with the mobile phone coverage in Cwmbran over the last few weeks. In a post at 3.19pm today Tom, a commmunity manager at Vodafone, explained that the problem is due to tall Christmas trees at a local farm. This is the reply in full :

“We stated earlier in this discussion that this issue is due to ‘line of sight’. This is when trees grow and block the signal from the mast. (You can read more about line of sight issues here).

“Trees at a local Christmas tree farm have grown so high they are now affecting the line of sight between masts. Unfortunately we’re not able to prune these trees and so need to find another way to get your coverage back. We’ve found a solution but this may take a few weeks. While we work on this, we’re looking at utilising a temporary mast so we can get things back to normal sooner rather than later.

“Thank you again for your patience whilst we resolve this and we’ll keep you updated on our progress.”


Simon Beesley, a Vodafone customer from Cwmbran, said: “It’s nearly as good as ‘the next train is delayed by leaves on the line’.”

Tom’s answer led to some replies from unhappy customers. Here are some of them:

1. “Do you expect us to wait until the trees are cut for Christmas?”

2. “Santa now gets the blame. Hope he doesn’t knock over any masts when his reindeer flies overhead!”

3. “There is no chrismas tree farm in cwmbran town centre do you know how high gwent house is gwent house is a office block in the middle of cwmbran shopping the largest growing shopping centre in wales LOL”

4. “Also are these tree being grown for giants?”

Tom replied at 6.49pm tonight:

“Christmas trees take many years to grow, so ones of that size could even have been planted ten or more years ago (speculation on my part). Towns and cities tend to use large Christmas trees, I know of at least seven sizeable ones used in my home town of Stoke alone each year for example.”

The photo of tall Christmas tree was taken by Chris Corrigan and published under a Creative Commons Licence. Click here to go the original photo and see more of Chris’ work.

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