The latest generation of mobile network technology – 5G – promises greater capacity, significantly faster download speeds, while opening up new possibilities for a number of technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) as well as for robotics, vehicle and automotive safety systems, and remote medical applications.
However, there are still questions around potential health risks, which must be answered to ensure this technology is safe for everyone.
The Institute of Non-ionizing Radiation (INIS), under the patronage of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Public Administration of the Republic of Slovenia, held the international Seminar 5G & Health in Ljubljana on 17 October.
Contribution of IEC Standards
Mike Wood, Chair of IEC Technical Committee 106, which covers safety testing standards for mobile devices, base stations and wireless communications systems, presented the important standardization work currently being undertaken by IEC.
‘It was reassuring to hear from the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) that the ICNIRP guidelines cover the frequencies used for 5G including mmWave, protect all people including children and are conservative’. said Wood.
Mike Wood presented an overview of the new IEC testing standards for 5G and showed the results of the Electromagnetic Field (EMF) tests on live 5G networks. The test results showed that the EMF levels measured were found to be similar to 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi, well below the ICNIRP guidelines and in many cases over 1000 times lower under real use conditions.
On the agenda:
The main aim of the event was to address key topics regarding the deployment of 5G mobile communications, electromagnetic fields and health, with emphasis on health risk assessment, new International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines and key procedures in relation to network rollout. Other topics discussed included:
- RF EMF and health risks – World Health Organization (WHO)
- RF exposure assessment in EU – INIS
- Literature review of Millimetre Waves (5G) and biological/health effects – ICNIRP
- 5G and Internet of Things – exposure scenarios – IEC
- New ICNIRP guidelines and implications on 5G – ICNIRP
- Key problems in relation to 5G network rollout – A1 Telekom Austria AG
- Scientific basis of the revised exposure limits for the 5G technologies – International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (ICES)
- EMF exposure assessment in 5G scenarios by stochastic approaches – CNR IEIIT Milano
- Research projects on 5G in Japan – Japan EMF Information Center
150 delegates attended from 21 countries to hear from specialists in the field, including standards experts, scientists and researchers, policy-makers, engineers, designers, planners, government officials and regulators.
Find out more about IEC work related to 5G