Melita Limited has begun a 5G trial across a limited number of locations using frequencies which have already been used for other wireless services. The trial, the results of which are being made public by Melita, has started following the issue of the relevant licence by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA).
Melita, together with Swedish multinational Ericsson, started rolling out its 5G-ready network in 2018, achieving nationwide coverage by the end of 2019. This network, which currently delivers Melita’s 4.5G services, is now being tested to confirm its ability to safely and effectively deliver 5G in Malta.
Harald Roesch, Chief Executive Officer at Melita Limited, said, “At Melita, our aim is always to offer our customers the best possible network and service. We must, however, ensure that this is done safely. While there has been a lot of unfounded scaremongering about 5G, that does not mean we should not proceed with caution and ensure that emissions are well within the globally accepted levels set by the WHO-endorsed organisation, ICNIRP.”
Roesch continued, “To do this, we started by measuring the energy given out by radio waves from all telecom operators, TV broadcasters, etc. at 282 locations across Malta before switching on 5G. These measurements, which were taken at street level close to antenna sites, revealed that current total emission levels across the country are currently extremely low. In fact, these are at less than one hundredth of what ICNIRP considers safe for the general public in all but one of the sites we tested. When we switched on 5G in our initial test site at Madliena, the increase in emissions was negligible, less than 0.1 per cent, meaning total emissions remain below one hundredth of the ICNIRP guideline levels. These initial findings also match the data gathered in similar tests carried out in the United Kingdom by the national regulator, Ofcom. As our test proceeds, we will continue to take measurements and we will make the results public on our website.”
Simon Montanaro, Chief Technology Officer at Melita Limited, said, “5G opens up endless opportunities to improve our lives. As with any new technology, however, it’s important to properly test the effectiveness of the network and equipment. The advantage which having the state-of-the-art Ericsson network gives Melita is that we can trial 5G on frequencies that were already used in the past. This trial will run at our Data Centre in Madliena and a limited number of locations in Sliema, St. Julian’s and Valletta, with the results publicly available through our website. The trial will also be closely monitored by the Malta Communications Authority who will be measuring emissions using their own equipment.”
George Pappas, Country Manager at Ericsson Malta, said: “By choosing Ericsson’s Leading technology, Melita is well placed to move to 5G using the infrastructure already in place. Throughout this process, Ericsson will continue to support Melita, providing technical support and insight from our worldwide experience in 5G technology. 5G will deliver huge benefits for both consumers and industries in Malta.”
The results of the 5G trial can be viewed on the Melita website at www.melita.com/5Gtrial