brian carroll <email@example.com>
Fri, 24 Aug 2001 09:08:25 -0800
(this is good news. something promising. hopefully other companies
and .govs will follow the lead. it is the 200 toothpaste problem of
capitalism, where one product has so many competing/duplicated products
that something that could be more efficient by cooperation and co-
ordination, instead needs to be rebuilt from the ground up for each
competing venture. at least that's one take on it...)
Swiss Mobiles Fret 'Electrosmog'
6:33 a.m. Aug. 24, 2001 PDT
BERN, Switzerland -- Four Swiss mobile phone operators called on the
government on Friday to allow site-sharing of antennas to limit costs
and at the same time safeguard people from "electrosmog," a
potentially damaging form of radiation.
"Without these proposals, Switzerland would become an oasis in Europe
with no mobile telecommunications," Swisscom Chief Executive Jens
Alder told a news conference.
Electrosmog is the popular name for non-ionizing radiation by mobile
telecom antennas that some fear could damage health.
The Swiss environmental agency BUWAL set new rules on electrosmog
emissions in March which, operators say, are 10 times as strict as
guidelines by the World Health Organization.
Swisscom, TDC, Orange and Telefonica Movile say they are not fighting
the radiation limits in principle but have drawn up their own
proposals on measurement methods and procedures that would enable
site-sharing of antennas.
Andreas Wetter, head of Orange in Switzerland, said the BUWAL
guidelines did in practice ban any site-sharing and would lead to
"forests of antennas" in Switzerland.
He said the guidelines would lead to "exorbitant" costs which would
make mobile telecommunications so expensive in Switzerland that
people would cease to use them. For his company alone, he estimated
the costs at 500 million Swiss francs ($300 million) to adjust
current GSM antennas to the new guidelines.
Installation of 3G antennas for the new generation of high-capacity
mobile telecommunications would become almost impossible especially
for Telefonica, which currently has no antennas at all in the
country. Telefonica won a 3G license but is not a GSM license-holder
The operators are seeking a constructive dialogue with BUWAL and said
they were not on a collision course.
The main bone of contention is measuring electrosmog.
While BUWAL proposes rules based on theoretical values and on
peak-radiation areas, the operators propose using averages and field
measurements by independent firms.
Alder said companies and authorities needed to take account of
people's fears around electrosmog, because it had not been proved one
way or the other harmless or dangerous.
But he urged authorities not to be unduly influenced by minorities
when awarding antenna construction permits.
Copyright © 2001 Reuters Limited. (FAIR USE/.edu aspects, non .com)
electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization