Optimal Location of Mobile Telecommunication Masts. A Case Study of Cape Coast Metropolitan Area

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Locating a set of facilities (resources) in order to minimize the cost of satisfying some set of demands (of customers) with respect to some constraints has been under study for a long time. Several location problems have been solved using a number of mathematical models and methods. In this thesis, a determination of optimum location of Mobile Telecommunication masts owned by mobile service providers in the Cape Coast Metropolitan area was under study. The general layout of siting telecommunication mast is based on transmission and receiving conditions. The proliferation of masts across our landscapes nowadays has been in direct response to increased desire for mobile communication services by the public. In order to prevent chaotic building of masts or towers all over the metropolis and to placate the citizenry who are nervous about possible health and environmental impact of these masts, co-location has been widely recommended by industry experts. A number of location strategies such as Centroid Method, Location Break-even Analysis, Factor Rating and Factor Analysis were observed by the researcher. Factor Rating method was adopted to solve this problem. The goal of Factor Rating is for a mobile service provider to be able to carefully derive the maximum benefit that can be used to achieve the company’s objectives by considering all relevant factors involved in deciding to site a mast. Following the strict implementation of factor rating method on mast locations in the Cape Coast metropolitan area by five mobile service providers, optimal locations were discovered. Based on findings, propositions which can be inferred include; relocation of existing mast, mounting of additional telecommunication equipments on existing mast, sharing of telecommunication infrastructure, outsourcing of tower and mast management to third party companies, and finally, consideration for co-location by telecom companies.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Mathematics, Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology Kumasi in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Award of Master of Science Degree in Industrial Mathematics, May, 2012