Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is set to embrace the future of connectivity with the launch of 5G services. The city’s unique radiation rules have been relaxed, paving the way for the new service to go live as early as September. Brussels 5g
Legislative Hurdles Overcome
Reports from local media confirm that the necessary legislative work has been completed, allowing antennas to be upgraded or replaced to distribute 5G throughout the Brussels region. The executive order permitting the deployment of 5G antennas has been published in the official journal, following parliamentary approval for the relaxation earlier this year.
The End of a Blockade
This development marks the end of a blockade on 5G in the municipality that has been in place since 5G pilots were blocked in 2019. Network operators such as Proximus, Telenet-Base, and Orange can now apply to the Brussels environment administration for a license to operate 5G antennas. The response time is reportedly around 30 days to eight weeks.
The Road to Full Coverage
While many existing antennas can be quickly upgraded from 4G, it could be a year before the entire capital has 5G coverage. The new rules set an emissions standard of 14.5 volts per meter or less, up from the current limit of 6 V/m. This change presents interesting rollout challenges for the network builders. So far, only Orange has installed 3.5GHz antennas on a small number of sites.
The Health Debate Brussels 5g
Brussels’ unique stance resulted from its febrile politics, which managed to overlook The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection’s (ICNIRP) seven-year study into a sub-6GHz spectrum. The study concluded that there was no evidence that 5G mobile networks pose any threat to human health. This year, the UK’s Ofcom found EMF levels near mobile phone base stations were well within the internationally agreed levels.
Some politicians expressed their relief on social media. “I’ve been pulling the cart for 5G for years. Good news, it’s finally coming. A necessary condition to make Brussels a real Smart City,” CD&V party leader Bianca Debaets posted on LinkedIn. “Long overdue, the capital has finally put in place the final regulatory framework to activate 5G antennas,” Brussels MP Aurélie Czekalski wrote on Twitter.
Largement en retard, la capitale a enfin mis en place le cadre réglementaire final pour activer les antennes #5G. Les arrêtés exécutifs permettant le déploiement effectif de la 5G sont finalement passés au Moniteur belge, fin juin.
— aurelie czekalski (@aurelieczeka) July 15, 2023