While the race to deploy 5G all over the world continues, fears surrounding the harmful effects of 5G has been a reason for delays in Belgium. Now, the government has granted temporary 5G licenses to five telecoms operators, to begin rollout. Work on the 5G network ceased in Brussels in April.
“The rollout of 5G mobile internet infrastructure has stalled in Brussels, over worries that mobile phones cause cancer, and science’s inability to prove otherwise,” according to a special report titled “The State of 5G.”
Though Europe prepares to spend billions on new equipment to support 5G systems, the community opposition to mobile phone system infrastructure like antenna towers has risen while having little evidence to link cell phone radiation to health problems.
An appeal to the European Union has already been made by 180 scientists and doctors from 36 countries to warn others about the detrimental effects of 5G technology on health, caused by the involuntary exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
“We are not conspiracy theorists,” said Olivier Galand, spokesperson for Brussels anti-cellular activists grONDES. The group blames “electrosmog” emitted from cell phone towers for causing serious health problems ranging from cancer to weaker bones, and they’re making sure politicians know about it.
Although it was expected for the network to go online in 2020, it has been postponed until further studies are conducted. Galand and grONDES, who protested the upgrade, are responsible for the change.
The above factors led Belgium’s plans for a 5G spectrum auction to reach a deadlock, in addition to having a disagreement between federal and regional governments and COVID-19-related issues.
In a move considered as a stepping-stone in the launch of the technology, Belgium regulator BIPT has granted temporary 5G licenses to five telecoms operators. “Cegeka, Entropia, Orange, Proximus and Telenet, were offered temporary user rights in the 3600-3800 MHz frequency,” according to BIPT website.
In the meantime, these licenses will be valid until the spectrum auction occurs in parallel with each telecoms operator offering 40 MHz of spectrum to ease the country into 5G.
In accordance to what was promised over the years, this solution allows telecoms operators to boost internet and Wi-Fi speeds.
“These user rights allow these operators to enable the first 5G developments within this frequency band in Belgium,” BIPT says. “To that end operators must continue to comply with the current rules of the regional authorities for the installation of antennas and the existing radiation standards.”