ANFR Publishes Documents For Public Consultation on 5G

FRANCE:  The National Frequency Agency (ANSES) is an administrative public institution established by the Telecommunications Regulatory Act of 26 July 1996, with the mission of managing the radio spectrum in France.


The fifth generation of mobile telephony (5G) promises to be an innovative technology. It promises a leap in technological performance compared to 4G: 10 times higher throughput, 10 times more latency, increased reliability, ability to connect many objects with better energy efficiency. Its scope is very broad and includes many areas called “vertical”, including transport, media, smart city, agriculture, industry of the future, augmented reality, security or medical applications.

Frequencies are a key resource for achieving the ambitious goals of 5G. They break down into three groups:

  • first, the frequencies around 3.6 GHz. This “core band” of the 5G will provide sufficient bandwidths to access the very high speed. In France, it will be the first band dedicated to 5G. This band will use active antennas (“massive MIMOs”) that can direct coverage to users, optimizing both throughput and spectrum utilization. It also introduces TDD (Time division duplex) duplexing mode which provides a larger bandwidth from the network to the terminal, enabling better response to asymmetric internet traffic.
  • then the frequencies already used by previous generations (2G, 3G, 4G). The 5G will be able to take advantage of the frequencies of the previous technologies as the proportion of 5G compatible terminals increases.
  • finally, the millimeter frequencies, around 26 GHz and beyond. These bands are not intended to be immediately opened in France. Ultimately, they will offer very large bandwidths that will allow even higher rates. These bands, besides the active antenna technologies and the TDD duplexing, will suppose to introduce more numerous and less powerful transmitters than today (small antennas or “small cells”).
In terms of exposure, the re-use by 5G of 2G, 3G or 4G frequencies will not bring any change from the current situation until the TDD mode is implemented (planned changes for 1.8 GHz, 2 GHz and 2.6 GHz bands). The current rules will therefore remain applicable.

On the other hand, the 3.6 and 26 GHz bands modify the characteristics of the exposure and therefore require the updating of agency reference documents.

The 3.6 GHz band will soon be open to 5G. The effect of active antennas and TDD duplexing on the exposure of the public to electromagnetic waves has led to the updating of the three ANFR reference documents cited below.

The purpose of this public consultation is to make a call for comments on the proposals for updating these three documents to take into account the specificities of 5G in the 3.6 GHz band. It does not concern millimeter bands, 26 GHz and beyond, which will be updated in due course.

The three Agency reference documents on public exposure submitted for consultation are:
  • the measurement protocol , which guarantees reproducible measurements by any accredited laboratory;
  • the national guidelines on the presentation of simulation results, which provide a framework for comparing computer simulations performed by mobile operators in their plans to introduce new transmitters;
  • the technical guide on the modeling of radio sites and safety perimeters for the public, which brings together practical rules for the installation of radio sites and defines safety perimeters around stations ensuring that the areas close to the antennas where the levels of exposure may exceed the statutory limit values ​​not be accessible to the public.
These documents are the subject of this public consultation.

Comments should be submitted no later than Wednesday, September 25, 2019, preferably by email, stating in the subject “Response to the public consultation on the reference documents” to the following address: consultation5G @ .

The changes made, in a few words

The new 3.6 GHz frequency band (in this case, the 3.4 – 3.8 GHz band) is inserted in the measurement protocol (see page 8 table of services of the draft protocol), which will make it possible to know the level of exposure created by the 5G during all the field measurements carried out in France.

Active antennas with steerable beams generate a high variability of exposure. This phenomenon is taken into account in the draft guidelines on the presentation of simulation results in the form of an exposure reduction factor (see page 6 of the draft guidelines).

Time TDD duplexing that can be used in 5G (and is already commonly used in Wi-Fi technology) is also considered in these guidelines (see page 7 of the draft guidelines).

For a better readability in the presentation of the results of simulations (see page 8 of the draft guidelines), the simulation maps will make it possible to distinguish the exposure of active beam-oriented antennas from passive fixed-beam antennas currently deployed in mobile telephony. in 2G, 3G and 4G technologies.

To avoid a redundancy in the presentation of the results, the estimate of the exposure in the particular establishments required in the body of the information file City Hall will not be reproduced in the simulation part. On the other hand, it will integrate all deployed technologies and types of antennas.

Finally, when the operator is able to guarantee that the average power over 6 minutes never exceeds the power used to define the safety perimeters, the consideration of a maximum average power over 6 minutes will be retained to determine the perimeters. (see page 9 of the technical guide).


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