Light Deployment Regime for Small-Area Wireless Access Points (SAWAPs)
Final report - Study
The objective of the study was to assist the Commission in implementing the requirements of Article 57 of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) in order to facilitate 5G deployment. The Commission has to propose an implementing act, which specifies the physical and technical characteristics, such as the maximum size, weight, and where appropriate emission power of small-area wireless access points (SAWAPs or small cells) that will benefit from the exemption from any individual town planning permit and other individual prior permits (hereafter "EU light deployment... regime") across the Union. This EU light deployment regime will reduce the time and the administrative burden currently connected with the deployment of 5G networks as well as promote a single market for small cells. This measure is also linked to the 5G Action Plan the Radio Spectrum Policy Group's Opinion, as part of its 5G spectrum roadmap, (http://rspg-spectrum.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/RPSG16-032-Opinion_5G.pdf) and the conclusions of the Communications Committee's 5G Working Group (http://22.214.171.124/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/COCOM5Gworkinggroupreportonbestpracticesfor5GNationalRoadmaps.pdf The study carried out an analysis of existing and planned definitions of small cells with focus on their physical and technical characteristics (size, weight, installation height, visual characteristics, etc.). The current regulatory requirements for small cells deployment in each Member State, the criteria for granting relevant permits (including aesthetics and power limits), and the possibilities and conditions for exemptions have been explored. The study dealt with the relevant emission power limits and the way they are addressed in relevant existing standards (e.g. EN 50400, EN 50401, IEC/EN 62232) in compliance with the Radio Equipment Directive (RED). It also investigated relevant situations in countries outside the EU, as well as international initiatives regarding the adoption of generic criteria for the exemption of small cells from approval processes. The findings of the Study have contributed to the specification of adequate physical and technical characteristics of SAWAPs, to be taken into account in the planned Commission implementing regulation and to the assessment of the impact of such a measure. The study also provides analysis of the procedures for the deployment of SAWAPs and identifies additional possible criteria to be used in order to determine the EU light deployment regime. Furthermore, the recommendations on future actions such as addressing public concerns about the visual appearance (i.e. aesthetics) of SAWAPs deployment and a notification mechanism of installed SAWAPs to assist evaluating the exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields, can be used as a basis for further legal or concerted steps to stimulate small cells deployment. The executive summary is available in English and French.