BRUSSELS Feb 16 Rules regarding the amount of
radiation that can be emitted from mobile telephone masts are
too strict in Brussels and should be eased to allow for a
high-speed mobile internet networks to be rolled out, the
Belgian telecoms regulator said.
Mobile telephone operators such as Mobistar and
Belgacom have said the current limits prevent them
from installing fourth-generation (4G) mobile networks, which
offer up to 10 times faster download speeds, in the Belgian
Brussels arguably has the strictest rules in the world,
telecoms regulator BIPT said, limiting the maximum output of
mobile telephone masts to 3 volts per metre, but additional
requirements meant this limit was in practice 1.5 volts.
"Current rules in Brussels and the policy regarding
radiation standards are a serious hindrance to the technological
possibilities for the deployment new mobile technologies and
have unwanted consequences for the economic development and job
creation in the Brussels region," the regulator said in a report
posted on its website.
In November, Belgium's largest mobile operator Belgacom
launched 4G services in eight Belgian cities but not in
Brussels, while competitor Mobistar started trials of the new
technology in the northern city of Antwerp.
Brussels, a city with over one million inhabitants and home
to international institutions such as the European Union and
NATO, would be a major market for the new technology, according
Belgium's three regions can set their own rules regarding
mobile radiation standards, with current requirements in
Flanders and Wallonia being less strict, the regulator said.
The Brussels environment ministry was not immediately
available for comment.
(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Mark Heinrich)