The 150-foot tower, to be built on 2 acres at the southeast corner of Pal Parkway and Reef Circle Mauka, will bring high-speed 4G cell phone service to South Kona and Ka‘u by the end of 2016, according to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. The tower will have 12 panel antennas and microwave dish antennas. It will replace a 100-foot tower that no longer has the capacity for the new technology or the ability to handle the number of wireless carriers intent in serving the area. Even now, some areas are not getting good coverage. The old tower is the only one serving Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, Hawaiian Ocean View Ranchos, travelers along that area of Mamalahoa Highway and into the Kahuku Unit of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, William Keoni Fox, of the Kaneohe-based Alii Wireless Specialists, told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
On December 3, the Windward Planning Commission unanimously approved a use permit for the new tower. During the meeting there were questions about possible service disruptions during the transition and whether taking down the old tower will expose residents to hazardous materials. Fox said there would be no disruption because the new tower will be constructed before the old one comes down, and there are no hazards. He also said he is still working on permits and the construction is probably six months away. It will take three or four months to build the new tower, he said.