Commission adopts Implementing Regulation to pave the way for high-capacity 5G network infrastructure

The Commission adopted today the Implementing Regulation on small-area wireless access points, or small antennas, which are crucial for the timely deployment of 5G networks that are delivering high-capacity and increased coverage as well as advanced connection speeds. Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “5G wireless networks represent a pillar of socio-economic development for Europe as they will enable new services in health and care, energy, transport, education and many other areas. Their importance is even more evident today as they will play a key role in our recovery from the coronavirus crisis. Together with Member States, we must pave the way for the timely rollout of 5G, without restrictive administrative barriers, which will in turn create significant demand from our industry and will amplify European innovations and competitiveness.” The “fifth generation” of telecommunication systems, or 5G, are one of the most critical building blocks of our economy and society as they will help optimise manufacturing processes and will enable innovations in telemedicine, smart cities, and clean energy management, among other advancements. As part of the new EU telecom rules that entered into force in December 2018 and following several public consultations that collected stakeholders’ and citizens’ feedback, the Regulation adopted today specifies the physical and technical characteristics of small cells for 5G networks. It aims to help simplify and accelerate 5G network installations, which should be facilitated through a permit-exempt deployment regime, while ensuring that national authorities keep oversight. At the same time small-area wireless access points should assure the protection of people’s health and safety, by adhering to strict EU exposure limits, which, for the general public, are 50 times lower than what international scientific evidence would suggest as having any potential effect on health. Their visual and aesthetic impact must be minimal by either being invisible or mounted in a non-obstructive way onto their supporting structure. More information about the Implementing Regulation is available here, and about the role of 5G in shaping Europe’s digital future here.