5G small-cell antennas planning permissions

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5G small-cell antennas must meet certain physical and technical criteria

In an effort to accelerate 5G small cell adoption across the European Union (EU), the European Commission (EC), after specifying the physical and technical characteristics of small cell equipment, has recommended that this type of antenna installation should be exempt from planning permission requirements. This raises questions at the municipalities due to the fact that they are responsible and they don’t want to have visual pollution in the streets and how it’s going to work with servicing and other costs that is now on their table.

“Together with Member States, we must pave the way for the timely rollout of 5G, without restrictive administrative barriers,” said Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, “which will in turn create significant demand from our industry and will amplify European innovations and competitiveness.” He also called 5G networks “a pillar of socio-economic development”.

In order to qualify for the exemption from permission requirements, the 5G antennas must meet certain physical and technical criteria. For instance, the antennas must be “invisible or mounted in a non-obstructive way onto their support structure and multiple operators must use the same small-cell” Further, the installed equipment must produce less electromagnetic emission and a smaller carbon footprint.

Mobile data demand has grown at an exponential rate for three decades, and according to data from IDC, there is expected to be a continued growth of about 30% per year as 5G becomes more ubiquitous.

It is unclear at the moment how far this regulatory ruling with reach beyond the boundaries of the current EU, or if those markets that once fell under such rule will follow suite.

In The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany one company is getting the focus to assist the local municipalities in their effort to regulate the upcoming of small-cells. CELLQUBE is working closely with some manufacturers and municipalities to embed small-cells in the streets interior with multi-operator connections, they are a so called carrier-neutral-host that provides the the last-mile with their patented solution.

Small cells have presented a solution to this growing need for capacity and coverage and have become increasingly common over the last five years, with an estimated 800,000 small cells deployed in just the U.S. by 2026, according to industry trade group CTIA.

There has been a great deal of calling for similar easing of restrictions in the U.S., with the Federal Communications Commission responding by speeding up the federal review of infrastructure, as well as the state and local review of small cells, specifically. The FCC has also committed to modernizing outdated regulations that hinder the fast and efficient rollout of 5G networks.

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