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July, 2004 - Nr. 7


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Hospital in Germany

High-tech trees have something to hide

  TWIG - In an age when practically every German citizen has a cell phone, engineers are hard at work trying to make the ugly cell phone towers that many people consider an intrusion in their communities seamlessly blend into the natural environment.

In some areas of Germany, telephone poles resembling trees have sprung up overnight. Designed by engineers hoping to erase unseemly phone towers from the unspoiled German countryside, the new towers are unobtrusive and often go unnoticed by residents.

"It happens time and again that various offices ask if we can design the antennas to be more pleasing to the eye," Josef Skuk said in an interview with Deutsche Welle. Skuk heads up the the Industrieanlagenbau GmbH, the company responsible for the new mobile phone masts. "Deciduous and coniferous — both are in our program," he said.

The poles are approximately 30 meters high and cost as much as 25,000 Eur. The fake trees are already garnering high praise for their resemblance to actual trees — except that the deciduous versions never lose their leaves.

Trees are of course a fitting choice for many environments, but some structures demand a faux antenna of a different sort. The company also produces crucifix-shaped phone reception devices for churches as well as chimney-shaped poles that fit in with the local architectural of smaller burghs.

But time will tell whether the major cell phone service providers will buy into the fake telephone poles. Neither T-Mobile nor Vodafone sees the idea as one worth cultivating.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


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