After communicating your legal and practical issues concerning the ASTRID indoor coverage to the Safety Commission we are happy to report the reception of a number of clarifications.
1. 150 visitors simultaneously
Firstly, the Safety Commission will recommend the minister make a formal modification to the Royal Decree of 15 December 2013 in the sense that the applicability criterion “150 visitors” used in the Dutch language version will refer to “gelijktijdige aanwezigheid” replacing the current confusing “toeloop” wording. No changes are deemed necessary in the French language version, which uses the less ambiguous “concentration” wording.
2. If the expected simultaneous presence is unknown or cannot be derived
Secondly, the responsible administrations will be officially informed that if the expected simultaneous presence (see previous paragraph) is unknown or cannot be derived from the available furniture and/or seating capacity, the administration is allowed to calculate the expected simultaneous presence by dividing the surface of the space (in square meters) by 3. This formula is already used in other fire prevention calculations and is applicable to both multipurpose and all other public spaces.
3. The requirement to provide ASTRID indoor coverage does not automatically imply that the whole building or infrastructure needs to have this coverage
Thirdly, the Safety Commission confirms it decides both on whether ASTRID indoor coverage is required and also on which parts of the building or infrastructure need to be covered by the ASTRID network. This means that the requirement to provide ASTRID indoor coverage does not automatically imply that the whole building or infrastructure needs to have this coverage.
4. Two certification tests
Lastly, NV ASTRID confirms that a building’s ASTRID indoor coverage infrastructure needs to pass two certification tests before the infrastructure is allow to be integrated with the ASTRID network. The first test is to be executed by the building owner in collaboration with the installer and is used to prove that the installation is compatible with the ASTRID coverage requirements as expressed by the Safety Commission. The second test is executed by NV ASTRID and is used to check compliance of the active equipment parameters with the submitted radio frequency design. However, in addition to this, it needs to be stressed that only equipment validated by NV ASTRID will be accepted. This is a new requirement, and unfortunately the list of ASTRID validated equipment is quite short and at present only contains a limited set of equipment sourced from the following vendors: Axell Wireless, Commscope and SEE Telecom. Details can be found in the ASTRID technical requirements documents. According to NV ASTRID, the introduction of the validated equipment list was deemed necessary after encountering compatibility and stability issues with non-validated equipment.
BELTUG will continue to track the ASTRID indoor coverage issues and will keep you informed on any further developments.