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Exposure of the general public to mobile cellular radiowaves : current status and evolution with 5G- Synopsis of presentation speeches and questions-debate

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Réseaux & Services

Actu des groupes

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17/12/2020

Three presentation speeches were on the agenda

Ronald Melnick, PhD,  toxicologist and biologist; he has supervised as Head of Special Projects@NTP (National Toxicology Program, https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ ), an agency of the US Ministry of Health (NIEHS) where he spent 30 years, the design, preparation and launch of the largest study ever conducted  on possible biological non-thermal  effects of mobile waves (2009-2018, 30M$)

His presentation developed eight points

-the original Statement of Work (SoW) issued to  NTP by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) and terms sheet imposed to experimentation conditions, namely to guarantee that the design of tests would ensure conditions designed to avoid non-thermal exposure intensities (slides 2 to 4)

-details of ways &means plotted so as to meet the prerequisites of this SoW, e.g the running of simulations purporting to establish which frequency band best fit to evidence differentiated effects depending on the type of organ within the body of test animals depending on their size (rats/mice), the development and use of big size reverberating chambers that guarantee a complete homogeneity of the EM field surrounding entire groups of test rodents (slides 5 to 8)

-the actual protocol applied during the running of the tests, such as alternating every other 10mn a phase of calibrated exposure (three distinct exposure levels leveraged over the experiment duration on entirely distinct groups of test animals) and a phase without any exposure, which targeted excluding any heat-induced unwanted collateral effects, repeated over 18 hours/day followed by 6 hours of complete absence of exposure (slides 9 to 10)

-details of resulting observations (various statistics) (slides 11 à 17)

-a summary of rated conclusions versus the normative NTP scaling applied to all toxicology studies, as publicly released on Nov 1st, 2018 on the one hand on the NIEHS NTP website (https://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsroom/releases/2018/november1/index.cfm) and also through  general media (slides 18-19)

-a panorama comparing the NTP conclusions with those of other large scale studies throughout the world published previous to the NTP ones  (slide 24)

-Mr Melnick’s own view as conclusion message putting especially in light what in his opinion is the core lesson learned of the NTP study, i.e. the waves used worldwide by mobile networks have an intrinsic capacity to cause cellular damage of which cancers can ensue, and two warnings :

1-precautions (the quantification of which remain to be determined) must need to be defined and put in place especially in order to limit exposure of the infancy and early childhood population 

2-any new-to-the-market technology with unwonted abilities, such as 5G, by no means can be assumed to be in a steady state status wrt pre-existing technology versions from a sanitary risk point of view and must needs be submitted to thorough experimental evaluation before deployment 

Specific questions raised  to  Mr Melnick

- The NTP study has been turned public two years ago and even in that lapse it has failed to gain any significant support of official organizations across the world, thermal effects are still the only effects recognized worldwide as effective and worth taking into account after the update of official views of WHO in 2020 and the NTP study has not changed that so far. The NTP study has been criticized on several accounts of technical process shortcomings that according to critics render its results of questionable reliability and dubious relevance, such as lack of control of body temperature of the test animals, and even these put aside, the results themselves have been rated, with the support of multiple national entities such as ANSES in France and BfS in Germany, as more or less inconclusive. Can you give our auditors your view on this?

Reply of Mr Melnick :

Mr Melnick has responded by developing three distinct points :

Point 1 : the experimentation conditions underwent thorough assessment by the Peer Review and were validated unanimously by the Peer Board 

The NTP study underwent a full three-days review by a panel of entirely NTP-independent experts come from the academic circles (7) and from first-tier industry companies (7), all gifted with first rank reputation for their qualifications in such varied domains as biology, toxicology and pathology ; these experts have applied the proceeding rules and results formalization processes in force at the NTP, the which are applied each year to tens of toxicology studies that are a reference worldwide

The detailed set-up and operation conditions of the emulated radiowave environment created by the NTP as well as the resulting statistics data and their interpretation have been examined and discussed live during the review (NB : live videos of the review sessions can be watched at  https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/events/panels/tr/2018/03/videos/videos.html). As for temperature monitoring, they were done during pilot phases where each animal had been implanted with a microchip (note : page 19 of the NTP report, rats studies) and temperature was controled according to a precise plan (NB re to p357 of the NTP report); the animals during these 28 days runs did not evidence any sign of tissue stress, such as heat effects or metabolic effects would have produced (e.g. loss of weight). Notwithstanding the complete absence of such a signature of thermal stress, DNA damages have been observed, and they could by no means result from heat effects (note : because such would have left other collateral signs in other types of tissues with high SAR/DAS response whereas brain and heart have been demonstrated to have SAR/DAS values very close to the average whole body SAR value ; re to slide 6 for a display of SAR response of the various body parts rats and mice at wavelengths 900MHz and 1800MHz)

Point 2 : reliability of the severity rating established by NTP and validated by the Peer Review

Raw quantitative results collected in studies are weighed and classified using two complementary criteria of 1-the absolute rate value of the observed facts (Probability values or P-values) and 2- the natural rate of occurrence of the same facts in sham groups. Symptoms of cellular dysfunction such as cancerous proliferation of Schwann cells and glial cells are extremely rare in the rodents types used by NTP in this experiment. In addition, significance of malignant evolution does not rely only on declared cancers proper, but includes too intermediate stages of evolution called hyperplasias in order to quantify a global indicator (NB : slides 14-15-17) ; NTP has also recorded damages to AND strings in brain cells of the test animals  (NB re to the same as above).  The Peer Review experts hence have validated without any contrary opinion or doubt being raised the rating statements proposed to their approval (NB re to slide 19) which were

-clear evidence  (NB =certitude ; the NTP process features no higher risk level rating) for the induction of schwannomas (NB = cancers of Schwann cells, in the heart)

-some evidence (NB =strong indication) of the induction of gliomas (NB = cancers of glial cells, in the brain)

[Note 1 : glial cells are present in neural tissues that concentrate nervous cells nuclei such as the brain, they participate of their structure (they build neuroglia) and of the metabolism of neurons

Note 2 : Schwann cells are glial cells that implement similar functions at the level of the peripheral neural system, that is along axons that they sheath with the so-called myelin]

Point 3 : neutrality of study scientists 

NTP has interrogated in written the FDA as to the actual grounds of why they had submitted a negative view on the significance and relevance of the NTP study results. The FDA’s response was limited to restating their view without developing any particular argumentation, mainly noting that there lacked any results on possible cancerogenesis effects of a chronical body temperature rise : but this was in fact an entirely different study SoW ! Another critic of various official bodies was that the study scientists who ran the experiment knew the details of the experiment, for instance the exposure levels plan, and hence were not agnostic to the experimental proceedings  (principle of ‘’histopathology blinding’’). As counterpoint to this, Mr Melnick developed that the production of any evaluation of biological effects of a toxic product of any type as organized in NTP experimental protocols encompasses three complementary steps :

-the rapport by staff directly involved in the proceedings of the experiment (‘’study scientists’’)

-the assessment report of the experiment methodology by an separate expert not involved in the study itself, who reviews the proceedings and conducts a separate series of self-designed evaluations on the test animals and on a panel of control animals (‘’QA pathologist’’)

-a review of observational facts by a group of pathologists (10/12 people) ; the members of such a  group do not know any particular about applied doses to test animals and are not even informed what the toxic agent is : in the case of this study they were not even aware that it was radiowaves that were evaluated, and less even radiowaves produced by mobile networks and devices. 

As summary, Mr Melnick sustains that the conclusions formulated by NTP are soundly and firmly supported by facts, and that such damages as have been observed are not caused by body temperature elevation of test animals (‘’not heat related’’)

a radio expert@Orange Labs with deep involvement in 5G; he will focus on how operators apply extant protection rules  (thermal effects based) in actual networks and how operators prepare for 5G specifics)

His presentation developed eight points

-main features of 5G network architecture (slides 2 to 3)

-current status of mandatory exposure thresholds and protection rules applicable to the deployment of mobile networks for the exposure of the general public receiving location on the one hand and for maintenance&operation staff receiving locations (‘’network engineering guidelines’’) and the  reference data associated (slides 5 to 6)

-5G specifics 5G wrt the nature, structure, and emission level of radiowaves, especially the variability of the created exposure over space, and in one given location, over time (slides 8 to 9)

-integration of 5G as one component among a set of typed radiowaves sources for the  establishment of the emission profile of a given site, emission parameters to be controlled being of one same nature with the other technologies and applicable criteria being a common set for 5G and the previous technologies (NB please re to  WHO, ICNIRP publications and to legislative texts applying them in France such as decree 2002-775) ; adaptation of modelization methods for risk zones immediately around antennas (where exist values higher than the thresholds defined in decree 2002-775) and how safety perimeters are flagged in practice on sites (slides 12 to 13)

-statistics on the average level of exposure created in France by cellular networks, all operators accrued, 2G/3G/4G (ANFR data) (slide 15)

-5G experimentation pilots data on EM exposure created by 5G-specific operation :  system in stand-by mode (no traffic, no signalisation) ; system in surveillance mode for the detection of candidate mobile users-no data traffic (signalisation active) ; on-traffic phase exposure in one beam for one user for various data volumes, hence various connection durations, delivered at a distance of 150 : , peak exposure value around 6,5V/m@150m and use cases values/data volume averaged over 6mn (international reference time lapse associated to risk criteria defined by ICNIRP) (slide 16)

-global environmental efficiency comparison 4G/5G with mid-term projections (5 years)  of total required dissipated power in each case, accommodating one same ramp up profile of 5G use and considering two scenarios a traffic growth rate 30% (case 1) and 50% (case 2) (slide 17)

-global overview of the multiple layer notions building a multiple-factor reduction protection scheme from exposure values identified as presenting a certainty of health risk (thermal related mechanisms such as acknowledged by WHP based on ICNIRP proposals) down to EM exposure threshold values to be complied with by network engineering and showing additional protection factors to the average exposure via distance to the network antenna, nature of place (indoor, outdoor), and bridging the values set in protection rules and average exposure values measured in France (through the 3000+ individual measures executed each year by ANFR on demand by private citizens, business, local authorities…) (slide 18)

Specific questions raised  to  Mr Gati

1-5G creates entirely now exposure conditions with very high variability over time (NB : even at the scale of handful of seconds and few minutes) and space (NB at the scale of some meters to around 20m), how come ?

Reply of Mr Gati :

The higher the bitrate, the shorter is the emission of waves needed to complete a given download of data. If bitrate is high, it is because the received power is maximal, the antenna is hence close, the phone operates at low power for upload, and exposure created by the phone itself is minimal. Conversely, and this is what may appear as paradoxical (‘’horrible’’), when connection bitrate is low, it is because downlink received power is mediocre, the antenna is far away, the phone operates at maximum power for upload, and exposure created by the phone itself is maximal. Now, of course, even in this case, the level of power leveraged by the phone remains strictly controlled so as to stay within defined reference standards, and there is no problem of compliance to standards whatsoever.

Each enduser who entertains concerns as to exposure level by their phone can regulate their own use of the service and exercise a control on the level of exposition they create around their own self, knowing; especially in the case of concerns about exposure linked to SAR/DAS emissions of their phone, they can account that optimal use of their device and minimal exposure it creates is a direct function of good signal from the network antenna.

2-The 5G operation mode will create exposure ‘’hot spots’’. Today mobile services players (operators, state agencies…) manage a limited number of abodes whether private, business or public with EM field values way higher than the average value (NB  circa 0,4V/m over France in a global average cf ANFR data slide 15) through the notion of ‘’points atypiques’’ which correspond to values of exposure higher than 6V/m (NB a value established in December 2018 by ANFR and managed via the so-called ‘’Comité National de Dialogue relatif à l’exposition du Public aux Ondes’’ https://www.anfr.fr/controle-des-frequences/exposition-du-public-aux-ondes/comite-national-de-dialogue/

Given the specifics of 5G which make ‘’hot spots’’ extremely difficult to predict by a private citizen, what are operators planning to do in 5G to move the management of those cases from simple discovery at the occasion of one of the 3000 or so measurement done each year by ANFR to a logic of systematic network wide prediction via simulation followed by measures on the spot to confirm what the simulation predicted?

Reply of Mr Gati :

When an antenna is deployed, operators proceed to EM distribution simulations; these simulations predict the level of EM field everywhere in the area of coverage of a given antenna even in 3D (hence with height too, such as on roofs, upper storeys of buildings…). Where EM field value is plotted to exceed 6V/m given the planned position of the antenna, the operator will examine various alternative to settle the issue such as reconfigure the antenna’s engineering (change direction of main beam, tilt, power reduction) and if necessary will reconsider the project. (NB most of these measurements cannot apply to 5G beams which are created dependent on where users are in a dynamic way). For antennas which are already under operation, ANFR runs several thousands of measures each year (NB some 3000+/-). When and if ‘’points atypiques’’ are evidenced among these measures, then the whole site is re-examined under control of ANFR in order to determine some course of action.

3-Staff who perform maintenance and operation tasks are in a staggered way exposed to much higher EM field values than the general public due to their very close proximity to antennas. Most of them are today subcontractors in service companies, often of rather small size, contracted by operators. How are they day by day conditions of intervention surveyed and how the personal helath of each one of them is monitored in these conditions?

Reply of Mr Gati :

As for prevention, operators establish Site Intervention precautionary standard rules books (Plans de prevention de risque intervention) especially for these precise types of tasks. Staff members are specifically trained for these risk situations, and intervention protocols are laid out in detail that include when needed antenna shut down. As for tracking, medical staff employed as Medical Workers (NB in private companies or professional leagues) who supervise these employees, as well as training staff are themselves made aware of and trained to these aspects. 

All subcontractors in these skills are required to establish and sustain their own precautionary standard rules Book (Plans de prevention de risque intervention) in compliance with the extant rules issued by public authorities (NB decree 2002-775) and the technical requirements of their contract. In addition, when a contract is passed, operators share with the supplier their reference Precautionary standard rules Book (Plans de prevention de risque intervention) in order to ensure maximum awareness to the risks. Then some specifics may be added on top, such as in ORANGE wearing an armband with some electronics that detects EM field and delivers gradual visual alert signs to the technician as to the level of exposure.

Professor@TelecomParis, head of the C2M Chair, who will focus on the unprecedented problems raised by 5G wrt exposure estimation (via simulations) and measurement (in the field) and more generally on the exposure evaluation issue


His presentation developed five points

-quick review of fundamentals on radiowave propagation and the frequency bands used in cellular networks, previous and newly featured by 5G (3.5GHZ band, 26GHz band), the structure of antennas on network emission sites, general statistics on average exposure created in France by various radio-based services (GSM, 3G/UMTS, FM radio …) (slides 3 to 5)

-5G specifics wrt radio aspects : spectrum use flexibility ; Massive MIMO in the 3.5GHz band ; 5G time operation mode in slots of 20msecs and time division of the slot between detection/signalisation tasks (5msecs) and data transfer (15msecs) (slide 6)

-standard operation power versus maximum power capability for  mobiles devices in 2G/3G/5G (slide 7) and 5G (slide 8)

-quick review of fundamentals on radiowave absorption differentiation in the various tissues of human body, their measure and reference exposure cap value caps de defined it the international level  (slides 9 to 12)

-evaluation and measure of effective exposure, methods and tools, in the field for 2G/3G/4G and required processes and methodology changes in 5G introducing cartography-oriented simulations assisted by AI processes using data collected by probes statistically distributed around service areas (slides 13 to 16) 

Mr Wiart further underlines in his conclusion 

a) once again developing the thoroughness of the ICNIRP approach, which scans ALL published material, with the current status that only heat mechanisms have to this day a proven record of measurable effects while all other candidate causes have not been proven beyond reasonable doubt, and insisting that this vigilance and control on all possible novelties is pursued continuously

b) again highlighting the main set of critics raised against the NTP study; such as the gaps in control of bodily temperature of test rodents, so that heat-related effects cannot be ruled out as being ultimately at play in the cellular dysfunctions observed, the absence of counter testing at 6W/Kg SAR/DAS for heat-related effects given the small size of the rodents, and the bias of the short time life of the rodents versus human life duration  

c) a reminder and clarification that IARC has only retained for mobile radiowaves a status of ‘’possible’’ for the induction of cancers, which is a far cry from ‘’probable’’ as often said 

d) notwithstanding these shortcomings the NTP results are a quite interesting signal, and this points to making a new phase of testing of the scope and range as a worldwide priority, with methodology enhancements addressing the extant critics, especially on the point of making sure that heat-related effects would not be in reality  at the root of the cancerous occurrences observed by NTP (NB : at SAR/DA 6W/Kg, at the which exposure level only, quite higher than the protection threshold of 2W/KG SAR/DAS) 

Specific questions raised  to  Mr Wiart

1-5G features radio operation modes entirely different what is at play in the previous mobiel radio generations, and exposure will be dominantly traffic-related ; this will result in exposure consisting in ‘’hot spots’’ dynamically created in places where traffic will be very active while the global surrounding area will be little exposed if at all (‘’idle’’). How may the precise localisations and their shifting be approached using simulation tools, so that from this predetection actual measures can be plotted and directed at real risk zones in a predetermined way, with an objective to confirm their level and hence take all relevant decisions proper to reduce exposure to the public?  

Reply of Mr Gati instead of Mr Wiart

As already outlined, operators proceed with network simulations when preparing the installation of each site ; these simulations consist for 5G emissions in computing the maximum possible exposure through virtually activating the entire beam capability at the maximum power of each beam ; the simulation of course adds on top the 2G/3G/4G exposure contribution from the installed systems which is a much easier routine task; for 5G, as in practice beams shift around with real traffic connections, the simulation spreads their effect on the entire zone (NB this point is a really sharp technicality that would need more details in exactly what the model is and how it takes into account worse case possibilities ; at face value it seems to imply that the computation in effect shapes for exposure a time and space averaged value) 

General Questions-Debate

1-Knowing the enormous effort mustered by the NTP study (10 years, 30 million $, 21 reverberating chambers especially developed occupying a gallery several tens of meters long, several thousand of test rodents) and looking at the incredible number of study reports issued to this day in that domain (4800 analysed by ICNIRP in relation with mobile networks technologies proper according to the so-called IGAS report in France published September 2020, 28 000 relating to the effects of electromagnetic waves in their general case,  around the world), and observing that, in this huge amount of piled up knowledge and know-how, when the NTP study gets published, its methodology is criticized, the relevance of its results are questioned and even disputed, and its recommendations are discarded, how could in the near future the telecom community build a global, consensual approach for next steps of studies in this domain where methodology would be the subject of a large and open discussion, as well as the way to rate results and define the criteria how to draw conclusions, so that resulting facts would be accepted at face value without continuous squabbling? Also would it make sense that in such a framework a limited number of study projects perfectly defined would be executed in a coordinated way worldwide with adequate dimensioned, financed and staffed ways&means instead of the incredible dispersion and waste we see today?

Comment by Joe Wiart

The amount of effort leveraged by NTP clearly shows how complex this type of research is ; here one deals with living beings, flesh and blood and not with hardware as is customary in our domain. One single study, however largely endowed with time, money and brains cannot possibly hope to cover the complete scope of such an issue and ambition to explore all relevant facts. The NTP study 2009-2018 is indisputably a major step, and currently NIEHS is building a next step program with different frequency bands (NB: the NTP study has been conducted using 900MHz for rats and 1900MHz for mice), and purports to meet the main critics raised versus the first program e.g. by incorporating in the protocol a set of methods to detect effects that could be traced to body temperature rise during exposure periods  (NB : the protocol of the NTP study  actuated alternate 10mn periods of exposure and non-exposure that were meant to allow for heat relaxation and limited total exposure to 18 hours 20 minutes a day, the remainder being entirely without exposure, so as to allow for recovery time re to slide 9 of Mr Melnick). For example Korea and Japan have initiated preparatory approaches for studies with similar objectives to the NTP study ones, with the aim to confirm or infirm its conclusions.  This is clearly very frustrating to have to admit that a single effort will not settle the issue ; now, at this very moment we have under our eyes the COVID19 crisis, and one sees that even with the mobilization of huge resources which are even one order of magnitude than the effort of NTP, time is needed to obtain results

Comment by Ron Melnick

When we started the design of the NTP study, we took as baseline assumption that this was a sanitary problem, of physical integrity in the medical sense (‘’health effects’’), and so we have associated from the very start engineers and physicists from the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), as well as specialists in the field of biology from the IT IS. Indeed such a study absolutely requires that all such skills be brought together.

Now, considering 5G and its possible health hazards, it takes analysing in depth how interactions may happen between the waves and human tissues. For instance at 26GHz, biologists indicate that almost all the waves are absorbed at the level of superficial tissues of the human body, such as skin. Therefore one has to take into account possibilities such as the coupling, in outdoor conditions, of UV light effects and radiowaves effects, especially on skin tissues and of course one has to distinguish the very different tissues that skin and eyes for instance (there are to date no studies at all for radiowaves for those) are. 

The rationale of live tissues processes complexity and sheer caution for a biologist and toxicologist advise to evaluate such risks before one massively deploys a technology with such entirely novel characteristics (frequency bands, beams with massive power concentration) rather than assume that they have a priori no particular risk attached and then have to realize x years after they have created massive exposure that they have some serious or worse even critical effects. It will take open-minded and public health conscious dialogue between stakeholders in new technologies and specialists of living beings processes to hope taking the right path between hasty deployment and overcautious approaches

2-What could the priority targets set for a NTP2 study, enlarge the analysis to new spectrum bands when used in 5G mode, or would it be preferable to focus on identifying what are precisely the intra-cellular processes the existence of which NTP affirms the 2009-2018 study has demonstrated under the current frequencies in operation ? (NB : frequencies ranging 700 through 2600MHz, as well as the 3500MHz featured by 5G)   

Comment by Ron Melnick

Priority should be set on identifying the biological mechanisms whose existence is now clearly suspected. In fact, sundry researches point to a possible activation of oxydation mechanisms within cells (‘’oxydative stress’’ or ‘’reactive oxygen species’’) ; this type of mechanisms among other properties have the capability to create genomic damage to ADN strings, and precisely this type of signs has been observed by different studies on the effects of mobile radiowaves (NB : slide 13 of Mr Melnick). The identification of the causal mechanisms for those signs in the NTP study would provide a reference methodology framework for a first approach of eventual noxious effects of the new generation mobile cellular technologies and new frequencies of the 5G package. Indeed blind testing of all frequencies now considered for use would be very costly and time consuming.

3-How could better international cooperation be organized, and especially how could a new program be secured to gain support of the many national Health Agencies (28 =27+1 for Europe alone), tentatively maybe through associating them to the definition of next steps research targets, to the design of the experimentation protocol, and to the results analysis methodology, so that one does not witness again a sterile discussion of conclusions when they come on the table?

Comment by Ron Melnick

Well, this is likely to be somewhat complex to rig this kind of agreement. In 2011 while attending the last to date IARC symposium the views were sustained with such heat by some participants that they decided to quit in the middle of the proceedings. Obviously such an effort would be profitable to all, and the WHO would be the place where it could take place.  

Comment by Joe Wiart

The point is really quite relevant. I met last month with Michael Wyde, who is now in charge within the NTP of defining the next steps in this domain (NB : Michael Wyde https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/labs/tob/systems/staff/wyde/index.cfm). Michael participates in the Steering committee of the studies being approached in Korea and Japan (NB see earlier comment). In France all studies are now supervised by ANSES, and ANSES is a member of the WHO Steering Committee. All those stakeholders actively pursue possible cooperation threads and one cannot say there is no dynamics for cooperation between the main countries.  

Comment by Ron Melnick

I did not imply there are no contacts at international level. However the positions at these different organizations with regard to  how in concrete terms to steer these studies, and which rating methodology should be used are far from identical. For example the notion of Whole Body exposure limit at SAR/DAS 0,08W/Kg (NB : a reference level defined by ICNIRP and hence upheld by WHO), of what use is it for research that studies cellular level noxiousness? When the same organizations support SAR/DAS 2W/Kg at head and trunk level and SAR/DAS 4W/Kg at limbs level, only these last two values are used to quantify protection rules to be applied versus waves created by devices and by networks. If SAR/DAS 0,08 W/Kg is relevant for whole body exposure limits, then that very value must be used to calibrate performances required from the various devices and network apparatuses we use day by day for our mobiles services.

Comment by Joe Wiart

The different sorts of body tissues absorb differently surrounding waves and it is this reality which underlies the different values defined by ICNIRP


4-Now looking at just how complex estimating exposure conditions in 5G (due to beams and space and time variability), what response will be delivered to individuals, businesses, local authorities that require, as is now done, a ‘’certified’’ exposure value in their abode, their working place, their leisure places, and in public facilities they use, and especially such locations as host small infancy and early childhood? It seems that this notion will be entirely dependent of traffic, hence the moment when the measure will be taken will be paramount for a reliable value, whereas today in 2G/3G/4G, the notion of exposure is rather simple and stable, there are close to constraints to the timing of measurement, and every person is even able to get an idea of it on one’s own using general public measurement devices gifted with a moderate cost, some  100/150€, with a reasonable reliability within a few seconds (or tens of seconds); will access to exposure values where one lives become a matter of highly specialized technicians with highly sophisticated equipment? 

Comment by Joe Wiart

Well, exposure estimation and measurement is going to be a technically somewhat complex thing.  It will become mandatory to resort to measurements by specialists that will have to be asked via local authorities. However this process is already in place, it can be triggered easily, it is managed by ANFR, and it is free of charge for those who ask them, as they are financed via a specific fund reserved for that (NB : financed by operators in France)

Comment by Azeddine Gati

The administrative procedure is quite mature, results are published and can be extremely easily accessed by anyone at any moment on the ANFR’s website Cartoradio.fr

Comment by Joe Wiart

As for measurement methodology in 5G and the way to elaborate a utilizable value to be delivered to people who for them, there has been for three years now a working group at IEC; the question is not simple, variability of fields over short time ranges is extremely high. ANFR has conducted a thorough campaign of study of 5G field profile in the field and has produced a report which is available on their website. The main difference versus today’s situation is, there is an exposure component that comes from the overall activity in the cell created by other users, this does not require specific action, it is there, and there is a component, quite important, directly created by one’s own usage, hence it takes activating a 5G communication directly by the measurement agent (NB 1 : this is entirely different to the 2G/3G/4G situation where the measurement device is completely passive ; NB 2 the type, duration, data delivery speed characteristics must also be determined). This is under work still, but things are moving on.

End of webinar session

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