Cities of Science London

Switch to:text only

A hub for telecommunications
The BT Tower

Opened for business in 1965, now refurbished for the twenty-first century.

A symbol of a communications revolution
The London Telecom tower was built between 1961 and 1965 to be at the heart of the new microwave network for telecommunications. The engineers installed aerials to send and receive phone calls to and from smaller towers all over the country.
BT Tower from Regent's ParkThe tower had to be tall because microwaves, like visible light, travels in straight lines so there had to be no barrier between transmitting and receiving aerials.
The tower is 188 metres above street level at its highest point. The engineers designed it to shift less than 30 cm from its vertical axis in winds of up to 160 km per hour. This stability is essential to ensure no breakdown of communications in stormy weather.

Submitted by: Andrew Hunt, 16 January 2007

This web site provides a history of the BT tower and an account of more recent developments. Click at the bottom of the page to find out more about the tower.
The geocities web site offers a concise summary of the main technical features of the tower as a building.

See also: Communication technologies Radiation

Project sponsors:

City sponsors:
ASE London Region
Nuffiled Curriculum Centre