The Brussels regional government has approved a higher limit for radiation emissions from cell-phone towers.
The decision will make it possible for the capital region to roll out 5G capacity on a similar level to the other two regions, allowing businesses and individuals access to the fastest currently available internet traffic.
“This decision puts an end to the long delay in a case file,” said minister-president Rudi Vervoort (PS).
“That is not only of strategic importance for the economic and technological future, but also for the international image of the Brussels Region.”
5G is the fifth generation of internet, which is much faster than the current 4G. It will allow faster movements of greater quantities of data, whether that be company database backup or downloaded movies for young people.
Brussels lagged behind in the roll-out of 4G compared to the other regions, because it was hampered by a strict limit on GSM radiation, largely as a result of the high concentration of population in the region, and the consequent need for many masts on buildings surrounded by a large number of people.
Now, the limit will be increased (to 14.5 V/m for those who understand what that means), which remains below the limit set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The previous limit was 6 V/m, which was the strictest in the world.
“We have not given an inch on the necessary protection of our citizens and the environment,” Vervoort said.
The problem with 4G was unable to be resolved because of political differences, but now, even with green parties Groen and Ecolo in the coalition, the decision has gone through. That was helped by approval given by a citizens’ committee.
According to the telecommunications regulator BITP, the arrival of 5G could mean a positive impact of €4-€6 billion for the country as a whole by 2030, and create 36,300 jobs.