The Swiss parliament has rejected a proposal to relax rules on non-ionisation radiation protection, which Swisscom has claimed could hinder 5G plans. The Council of States voted 22 to 21 against the motion, which would have relaxed Switzerland’s strict regulations on non-ionising radiation, moving the limits more in line with international norms whilst staying under World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) recommended limits. At present, the rules would limit upgrades to existing antenna sites for 5G as most network sites are approaching the upper limits of their permitted transmission power. In rejecting the bill, representatives pointed to public worries regarding potential – albeit as yet unconfirmed – impacts on health, as well as the detrimental effect of antenna construction on real estate prices.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in announcing that it would activate a 5G network in 2018, state-owned incumbent Swisccom noted that a widespread rollout of the technology would only be possible if the government amends rules on public protection from non-ionising radiation.