National Geographic : 2007 Sep
TECHNOLOGY A Colorado bison sports antenna panels. The flag's real. The pole's a cellular tower. Cell Phonies To para phrase Joyce Kilmer: "I think that I shall never see, a cell phone tower lovely as a tree." And that's not poetic license. Municipal officials and nature lovers are requiring camou Sflage because a naked tower " with antenna panels and Former sugar silos now hold phone gear. i dA cellular cactus curtails prickly receptio cables is deemed an eyesore, notes telecom lawyer Jonathan Kramer, and a "mono-pine" is a popular disguise. Cellular firms pay a price for fiberglass or foam fakery. A rooftop an tenna enclosure starts at about $3,000; a steeple can cost from $15,000 to $80,000 or more. If the tower is on private prop The fruit of the palm: antenna panels. erty, monthly rent ranges from A fake water tank stands on a parking lol $500 to $4,000. Some 20,000 to 50,000 stealth structures have been built in the U.S., and more communities are calling for Concealment. But the average citizen may be blissfully un aware. "If you didn't notice it," says Shea Burman of Wireless Concealment Systems, "we did a good job." -Marc Silver Antennas haunt a house in a cemetery. Across takes cell signals closer to heaven. A mock rock lets Californians talk. The red light alerts low-flying copters. n. t Cell Test Identify the camouflage sites in a Photo Gallery at ngm.com/0709. PHOTOS:JONATHANL.KRAMER,KRAMERFIRM,INC. I I t.