Saturday, 25 May 2019

4G mobile signals well below international safety standards

LTEField tests in the UK have shown exposures from fourth generation (4G) mobile phone networks operate at maximum levels around 125 times below international safety limits and are comparable to levels from existing mobile technologies like 3G.


Belgian researchers measured the electric field strength of new Long Term Evolution (LTE) base stations at 40 urban locations around the English town of Reading and found the average LTE power level to be 0.2 volts per meter (V/m) compared to the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) recommended limit of 61 V/m.


“Highest exposure values due to LTE are obtained at locations LOS [line-of-sight] with LTE BSs [base stations], with a maximum of 0.5 V/m and an average of 0.2 V/m for LTE,” the study published in Bioelectromagnetics reported.


LTE networks, commonly referred to as 4G or fourth generation, have now been launched by mobile operators in Australia and are designed to deliver very fast mobile broadband data speeds of up to 100 Mb/s (megabits per second), faster than many home broadband services.


The researchers compared the signals from other radio frequency sources including FM and digital radio, emergency services radio, 2G, 3G and the new 4G signals from mobile phones and found while all were well below safe exposure limits FM radio was on most occasions the largest contributor averaging 56.3 per cent of total exposures.


“All electric field levels satisfy the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) reference levels with a maximal total electric field value of 4.5V/m. The total values are dominated by frequency modulation (FM),” the researchers said.


The researchers found even when extrapolating their figures to a worst case scenario at the LTE transmitters’ maximum traffic load and output power, exposures would still be 32 times less than safe exposure limits.


“The maximal extrapolated field value for LTE exposure equals 1.9V/m, which is 32 times below the ICNIRP reference levels for electric fields,” the study found.


The study’s results are consistent with measurements taken by the same researchers on one of the first commercial LTE networks in Stockholm, Sweden in 2010 that found LTE signals were about four per cent of all the measured radio signals and more than 6,000 times below the recommended safety limits.

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