||Public Attitude toward Mobile Base Station Siting: More than NIMBY
||Institute of Telecommunications and Management
risk and benefit perception
attitude toward mobile base station siting
Worldwide mobile cellular subscribers reached the 4 billion mark with almost two thirds of the population approximately 6.7 billion by the end of 2008. Base stations are served as the transmitters that keep communication connection. Opposition to mobile phone towers has become a routine feature of many countries and the prime concerns of the residents are health risk and uncertainty. Taiwan has one of highly penetrated mobile markets in the world, the penetration rate of its mobile services reached 110.3% in 2009 with a total number of 62,200 base stations. More than one thousand of protests against base station siting took place every year. The opposition to mobile base station siting is a clear and practical problem with highly social and economic costs. The conflicts between local residents and operators are brewing a long time and become a barrier to the development of telecommunications.
In order to install mobile base stations effectively and to make the installations be accepted by the local residents, it is critical for operators to understand what their attitude toward the station siting and what factors they really concern about. This study aims to incorporate “not in my back yard (NIMBY)” reaction in the research model and to analyze the influential factors of attitude toward mobile base station siting in Taiwan. The constructs associated with attitude in the model are risk and benefit perception, trust, knowledge, proximity. Seventeen mobile base stations in southern Taiwan in which protests had ever taken place are selected for data collection. About 300 residents within the 50-meter neighborhood of these stations were interviewed by questionnaires during January to April, 2009, and 258 effective respondents are collected (effective sample rate = 86%). The causal relationships in the proposed research model are evaluated using structural equation modeling.
The results of the study are as follow. It is found that NIMBY reaction associated with the resistance of the residents toward mobile base stations siting is empirically proven to be the most influential factor. The constructs of proximity and risk perception have the highest negative impact on attitude toward mobile base stations siting. Besides, trust in authority “National Communication Commission (NCC)” would encourage reward as well as depress risk, and thus, become a significant determinant to conduct the public to have a positive attitude toward station siting. Interestingly, it is found that plenty of knowledge on electromagnetic fields (EMF) and base station would lead residents to more anxious sentiments and to have negative impact on attitudes toward station siting indirectly. The cognitive dissonance of the public results from residents’ high sensitivity on negative information and unavailability of accurate knowledge. Therefore, this stereotype effect of EMF deeply influences the resident’s negative cognition of mobile base station.
Disputes of mobile base station siting are realistic and demand the solutions to the problem-solving. The findings of this study provides mobile operators a better understanding of public attitude toward mobile base station siting, which is useful for their deployment strategy of mobile network. The managerial implications of this study are as follow. The NCC should play an important role in the provision of the knowledge on EMF and base station. The public should be informed and educated by the accurate information which is brief, easy-to-read and updated frequently, broadcasting in various channels such as TV commercial and brochure. More challenging, mobile operators and NCC should make the siting of mobile base stations publicized and operators’ legality protection should be enacted.
Table of Contents v
List of Tables vii
List of Figures viii
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Background and Motivation 1
1.2 Research Objectives 5
2. Conceptual Development and Hypotheses 7
2.1 NIMBY Theory 7
2.2 Attitude and its Influential Factors 8
2.2.1 Attitude 8
2.2.2 Proximity 9
2.2.3 Risk Perception 10
2.2.4 Benefit Perception 12
2.2.5 Trust 13
2.2.6 Knowledge 15
3. Research Model and Design 17
3.1 Research Model 17
3.2 Measurement Development 17
3.3 Data Collection and Sampling 19
3.4 Analysis Method 19
3.4.1 Descriptive Statistic Analysis 19
3.4.2 Factor Analysis 20
3.4.3 Reliability and Validity Analysis21
3.4.4 Structural Equation Modeling 22
4. Data Analysis and Empirical Results 24
4.1 Measurement Model Evaluation 24
4.2 Criterion Data Analysis 26
4.3 Construct Reliability and Validity 30
4.4 Model-testing Results 34
5.2 Managerial Implication 41
5.3 Limitation and Future Research 42
Appendix A: Items in Questionnaire 54
Appendix B: The Chinese Questionnaire 56
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