BROADBAND provider Vodafone is seeking permission to install a new mast and 5G antennas in Pokesdown.

The faster internet technology has proven controversial with some in recent months, with several wild theories circulating online.

Bournemouth was being trumpeted as a test bed for the tech by the previous Tory-run Bournemouth council.

Vodafone's application includes a report by the London-based Institute of Engineering and Technology called "allaying health concerns regarding 5G and exposure to radio waves", which claims the new equipment will reduce radiation exposure.

The report states: "Some people have expressed a concern that a large number of 5G cells may increase a person’s exposure to radio waves.

"However, the particular feature of cellular radio is that every time a new base station or cell is added, the distance the signal has to travel is shorter.

"Therefore, under the laws of physics, the power needed is reduced, leading to a decline in the smartphone power level required to connect to a base station.

"For many people, their smartphone will be by far the nearest source of radio wave energy to their bodies.

"As a result, more 5G cells will lead to a reduction in the overall radio wave signal strength an individual smartphone user is exposed to."

The report also says the technology's "Massive MIMO" antenna is "actually tiny" due to its improved efficiency.

"And a good 5G fibre base local broadband infrastructure will be important to local communities over the coming decades in view of the ever-increasing amounts of data being consumed by the general public," it concludes.

Vodafone wants to update an existing "base station" on the corner of Christchurch Road and Seabourne Road to include a new 17.5m high mast with six antennas.

It is seeking prior approval confirmation from BCP Council that it does not need full planning permission.

The application states: "The proposed development comprises the removal of the existing 15m mast and its replacement with a 17.5m mast incorporating six antennas and associated development works thereto.

"As part of their continued network improvement program, there is a specific requirement for the upgrade/replacement of this existing radio base station in order to provide improved network coverage to this area of Bournemouth.

"The proposed works shall provide improvements to network coverage and new superfast mobile coverage including 5G services for Vodafone."