Unicel admits needs for more towers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Unicel, which is one of two cellular phone providers in Demopolis, said it plans to build more cell phone towers in the area.

A proposal to put another cell phone tower in Demopolis may have been rejected a year ago, but there is hope that more may be built in or near the area, said a marketing director for the Unicel cell phone company in Demopolis.

In January 2002, the Demopolis City Planning Commission rejected a proposal to build a 10 foot antenna on an existing water tower in Demopolis as well as constructing a 12 by 20 communication building.

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According to the minutes for the planning commission meeting, the location, 615 North Commissioner Street, was selected because of needed cell phone coverage for the downtown area of Demopolis.

Demopolis Mayor Austin Caldwell said that the proposal was rejected because property owners in the area objected to the tower being built in that area.

Unicel Marketing Director Clay Creveling said that even though the proposal was rejected, the company is hoping to build more cell phone towers in or near Demopolis.

Creveling said that currently Unicel has cell phone towers in Demopolis at the intersection of Highway 80 and Jefferson Road as well as in Coatopa, Eutaw and Greensboro.

Creveling said that Unicel has additional customers both south of Demopolis and closer to Linden.

Creveling said for Unicel to build new towers, they need to find proper locations, where the coverage does not overlap with another area, and that towers must not be built in "what are known as dead areas" &045; areas where communication signals are not effectively transmitted.

Despite Creveling saying that Unicel wants to expand its coverage area, Unicel customer Dan Wilson said that he liked Unicel’s coverage, calling their service "excellent."

That isn’t the case for many Unicel subscribers, though.

On internet chatrooms about Demopolis, including demopolislive.com, a host of disgusted cell-phone users have branded local coverage as terrible.

Many on that site &045; none who responded to a request for an interview &045; said they have all but given up on the Unicel service. Some have said they like using Southern Linc, the other cell-phone provider in the area, better.

Caldwell said that he would like to see a tower built in or the near the Demopolis area, providing that the tower "is not obtrusive, or that there is no objection from property owners of the tower being built in that particular area."