Infrastructure Deployment in Latin America
November 17, 2015
The Importance of Mobile Networks in a Connected World
The growing demand for mobile services and the constant quest for improving quality of service have forced operators to escalate the deployment of mobile networks. These networks are the fundamental infrastructure for a more connected world that is experiencing exponential growth in smartphones and data traffic.
Latin American mobile operators are working in a comprehensive and diligent manner to expand infrastructure deployment and meet users’ expectations.
However, this deployment faces constant challenges that interfere in reaching the new antenna installation objectives for the region.
Existing Barriers Need to Be Removed to Foster Network Improvement
Latin America needs more antennas to meet this growing demand. The first step is to remove existing barriers to infrastructure deployment in all the countries in the region.
In many cases, municipal governments do not allow the installation of additional towers, paperwork gets delayed or excessive fees are imposed. Other important barriers, not based on any scientific data, are provisions about minimum required distance between antennas, or between antennas and schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other community-sensitive institutions.
A fundamental driver in fostering infrastructure deployment and connectivity in a country is the award of base station installation permits solely on technical matters. This will boost investments in the mobile industry and positively impact the productivity and economy of that country.
Myths and Truths about Mobile Antennas
The availability of a large number of mobile cells is essential for the provision of good network coverage for the population. Calls will not be interrupted and mobile signal will always be available.
Not only does the number of antennas necessary to provide more and better mobile services needs to be increased, these antennas must also be located near populated areas to meet the following objectives:
- Lower call interruption rates and faster Internet connectivity
- Longer battery life by transmitting with reduced power
- Less environmental pollution by using less energy both in mobile devices and antennas
The use of mobile phones and the radiofrequency from antennas do not have adverse effects on our health.
The levels of radiofrequency exposure from cellular antennas are non-ionizing and very low, which means that they cannot transfer enough power to break or change the chemical bonds of a molecule.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “A number of studies have been performed over the past two decades to determine if cellphones pose health risks. To date, research does not confirm that the use of mobile phones has adverse health effects”.
Educating the population is the most efficient mechanism to gain their acceptance and understanding in relation to infrastructure deployment. Therefore, governmental entities and operators must work together to provide valid and reliable information to raise the population’s awareness about the safety electromagnetic emissions from base stations.
Click here for more information on health and electromagnetic fields.
By stimulating antenna deployments, governments and operators can contribute to the improvement of mobile networks service and coverage.
- The definition of unequivocal approval processes for mobile base station planning based on technical and consistent criteria that are valid countrywide to avoid excessive delays in network deployments and establish a positive certainty to foster continuing investments.
- Adherence to exposure recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO), such as the ICNIRP guidelines, which are based on scientific evidence and continuously reviewed by experts.
- Reduction of environment and/or minimum distance between antennas restrictions with no technical or scientific support.
- Exemptions for small installations, co-locations and certain facility improvements coupled with “single window” processes for licenses and implied approvals.
- Infrastructure sharing, whenever technically possible and as a result of commercial negotiations, not imposed or subject to regulatory restrictions and/or additional costs.