Laser is either visible (with wavelengths ranging from 400 to 700 nanometers) or invisible in case of infrared and ultraviolet laser beams. Laser has many characteristics that qualify it to be used in significant applications. Moreover, it has certain specifications that imply economic alternatives and solutions for mobile networks connection. Similar to other advanced technology, measures should be set to regulate usage.
Measures aim at guaranteeing the citizens’ safety when they use or are exposed to laser. Within framework of cooperation between the NTRA, NTI (National Telecommunication Institute) and National Institute for Laser Enhanced Science, NTRA’s board assigned the National Institute for Laser Enhanced Science to carry out a study on the usage of infrared laser in mobile networks and to set limits for emission of rays according to which usage of such equipment is decided.
Different specialized international standardization authorities agreed that the Accessible Emission Limits (AEL) should not exceed 1 ml when the laser falls on a hole of 7 ml diameter for more than 8 hours of continuous exposure to laser. The scientific regulations set by the international organizations should be taken into consideration and those are:
- American National Standards Institute(ANSI),
- International Electro-technical Commission(IEC),
- International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection(ICNIRP),
- Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
- Swedish Radiation Protection Institute(SSI),
The NTRA in this regard seeks to regulate the usage of telecom systems in a way that ensures meeting the age requirements, maintain the international related standards and protect the citizens’ health at the same time. The NTRA board consequently set the measures necessary for the installation and operation of infrared laser equipment to ensure a healthy free-of –dangers environment.
- A type approval for the equipment should be obtained from the NTRA pursuant to (IEC 1-60825) that was issued by the International Electro-technical Commission, which defines the range of the wavelength of the beam emitted from the equipment from 700 to 1050 nanometers. Moreover, it specifies the optimum power as less than 100 ml watt (in the used equipment).
- The Accessible Emission Limits (AEL) should be less than 1 ml watt in front of the main beam. The limits shall be measured by putting the lens of the optical power meter contiguous to the lens of the laser transmitter. In case of installing equipment on high towers, measurement shall take place from the roof of a neighboring building at 6 meter distance from the main beam-direction.
- In case the equipment is installed on a mast at the edge of a building roof the beam-shall be directed outside the building. If the equipment is installed on a pylon not at the edge, then the vertical distance between the ground floor and the equipment lens should not be less than 3 meters. The horizontal distance between the equipment and any neighboring building should not be less than 6 meters.
- In case of installing laser equipment on a separate placard (i.e. not fixed on lampposts) or on towers of telecom or mobile networks, the vertical distance between the lens and ground floor should not be less than 6 meters. The horizontal distance between the equipment and any neighboring building should not be less than 6 meters.
- It is prohibited to install laser equipments on the walls of a building, near balconies or inside the buildings
- It is prohibited to change any of the internal components of the equipment except after referring to the NTRA as it is the competent body authorized to monitor the rollout.
- The equipment should be horizontally and vertically firmly fixed in its place. A barrier should be placed underneath to ensure that the beam would not reach visibility range in case any accidental bending took place.
- Companies should abide by the hygiene and safety regulations for workers responsible for the installation and maintenance of the equipment.
- Field inspection for units shall take place at least every year.
- The companies should consider artistic and aesthetical aspects at installation.