"Mobile telephony and 5G: the Federal Council decides what to do next"
Communiqué, Federal Council, Swiss Government, 22 April 2020 - unofficial translation
Bern, 04.22.2020 - Mobile telephony, especially 5G, can play a crucial role in digitization. 5G makes it possible to transmit increased amounts of data faster and more efficiently. However, the development of the 5G network is met with reluctance. In this context, the Federal Council defined, on April 22, 2020, the continuation of the procedure in the matter. DETEC [Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications] must write an implementation aid for the processing of new adaptive antennas. It will also have to implement the support measures proposed in the report of the “Mobile telephony and radiation” working group. The Federal Council does not currently intend to modify the limit values aimed at protecting the population from non-ionizing radiation (NIR).
On April 22, 2020, the Federal Council defined the rest of the 5G procedure. It took into account the crucial role that 5G can play in digitization, as well as the reluctance expressed by the cantons and part of the population with regard to the introduction of this new standard for mobile telephony and the development of the corresponding network. To make its decision, the Federal Council relied on the report of the working group "Mobile telephony and radiation", published in November 2019.
Help with execution on adaptive antennas
First, implementation aid on the processing of adaptive antennas will have to be developed by DETEC. Adaptive antennas transmit signals in a targeted manner towards the user. First, test measurements should be made to determine the effective exposure of the population due to these antennas in a transparent manner. DETEC will draw up the implementation aid on the basis of the results of these test measurements. Until then, adaptive antennas should be evaluated like conventional antennas. The protection of the population is thus guaranteed at all times.
Implementation of support measures
The Federal Council also decided to implement the six accompanying measures proposed by the working group in its report. In this context, priority should be given to the further development of radiation exposure monitoring and the creation of an environmental medicine consultation service on the RNI. It will also be necessary to simplify and harmonize implementation, improve the information provided to the population and intensify research on the health effects of mobile telephony and radiation.
At present, the Federal Council intends to maintain the limit values of the installation aimed at protecting the population from the RNI. The task force failed to agree on a recommendation and the Parliament recently twice refused to relax these values.
For a sustainable mobile phone network
Finally, DETEC wishes to rapidly advance the work carried out in response to the premise 19.4043 "For a mobile telephone network respectful of sustainable development", tabled by the State Advisor Brigitte Häberli-Koller. It will submit to the Federal Council, by the end of 2021, a report presenting the possibilities of developing the mobile telephone networks in compliance with the principles of sustainable development. This report should provide a better basis for decision also for future telecommunication technologies."
Original text in French: