The EU has adopted regulations to accelerate 5G network installations by simplifying the deployment of small cell antennas that provide the last mile for 5G networks. The regulation defines the physical and technical characteristics of small cells, setting strict limits on their size and power, exempting them from planning permits (while retaining national oversight) and addressing their appearance to make them less visible.
Digital transformation is more crucial than ever to national economies following the outbreak of the pandemic. The EU believes 5G networks in particular represent a ‘pillar of socio-economic development for Europe’, enabling new services in healthcare, cleaner energy and education, while supporting post-virus recovery and enabling industries to compete effectively with the US and China. The faster rollout of denser networks of small cells that are closer to customers is especially important for the development of smart cities, transport systems and manufacturing – something that European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, believes will ‘amplify European innovations and competitiveness’.