Thursday, 25 April 2019
MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEPLOYMENT NEWS, ISSUES AND SCIENCE

Cities with more antennas are less exposed to mobile signals


Colombian monitoring systemPeople are less exposed to mobile signals in cities with a higher density of network antennas, an analysis of more than 11.5 million base station signal measurements throughout Colombia has found.

 
To check mobile carrier’s equipment complied with national safety standards, the Colombian National Spectrum Agency (ANE) studied a year of radio frequency electromagnetic field (RF EMF) measurements taken from the major cities of Bogota, Medellin, Cali and Ibague.
 
“It was found in cities like Medellín, with increased deployment of telecommunications infrastructure, levels of measured electromagnetic fields are lower compared to cities which have less infrastructure deployment, such as the case of Bogota and Cali,” the Colombian Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MinTIC) reported. [Translated from Spanish]
 
The study found for 2013 the average level of RF EMF from mobile networks was 1.8 per cent of the standard – 55 times lower than the Colombian safety limit.
 
Measurements were taken around broadcasting stations, cellular mobile telephone and other telecommunications services in all regions of the country.
 
Director of the ANE Oscar Giovanni León Suárez said the results demonstrate that the more network antennas there are in an area the lower the intensity of electromagnetic fields.
 
“This is due to the fact that the equipment’s power use must diminish when there is more infrastructure,” Suarez said.
 
MCF program manager Ray McKenzie agreed that there is a common misconception that the further a base station is away from people the less they would be exposed to the radio signals it uses to communicate.
 
“Once a call is connected, both mobile phones and their base stations are designed to operate at the lowest levels to make a quality call,” Mr McKenziie said.
 
“As a precautionary approach, base stations are constantly adapting their output levels depending on the number of calls they are handling and how far away the handsets are from them.”
 
“Likewise, mobile phone handsets also constantly adapt to the minimum power required to maintain a quality call, in order to avoid network interference and improve battery life.”
 
“The further a base station is built from users, the more power the base station and handset need to maintain a quality connection.”
 
“That is why exposure to mobile signals is often lower in areas with a high density of network antennas, because both base stations and handsets require less power to connect.”
 
The Columbian safety limits are based on the international guidelines developed by the International Commission on Non-ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
 
In 2013 the ANE launched a 24/7 mobile network monitoring system that provides live RF EMF readings from 43 sensors installed across the country’s most populated city areas, which relay exposure level readings back to the website in real-time via an interactive online map.
 

 

Published 29/05/2014

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