Mobile and wireless technologies continue to evolve to provide new services and higher speeds. The GSM family of technologies includes GSM, GPRS, EDGE and 3G/WCDMA, HSPA and LTE.
The GSMA research program covers assessment of exposure from new wireless technologies and services and research with human volunteers examining physiological and cognitive endpoints.
Australia: 2G and 3G Human Neurophysiology Study
The Australian Centre for Radiofrequency Bioeffects Research (ACRBR) and Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne, Australia) is investigating possible effects of GSM and 3G signals on EEG (brain waves) or cognitive performance of groups of 13-15 year olds; 20-45 year olds and >55 year old. The study will also include caffeine as a positive control for some of the testing to make it possible to better relate the radio signal investigations to real world conditions. The subject testing is now complete and papers have been published describing the findings.
Denmark: Exposures from New Wireless Systems
The GSMA commissioned Aalborg University to produce two reports on the evolution of mobile technologies. The first in 2001 examined the frequencies, power levels and modulation of 3G/WCDMA signals and found that for most 3G users, handsets will operate well below their maximum level except near cell edges. The 2007 report updated the information for 3G/WCDMA and was expanded to include GPRS, HSPA, WLAN and WiMAX. HSPA simulations showed that the cell size was more important than the data rate for the device output power but most devices still operate well below their maximum.
Europe: Assessment of Public Exposures from Wireless Networks
The GSMA and WiMAX Forum have commissioned IBBT (Belgium) to conduct measurements in Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden of environmental levels of radio signals from wireless networks (GSM, 3G/UMTS, HSPA, LTE, WiMAX) and other radio services (FM, DVB-T/H, DAB, analogue TV, etc). At a representative sample of locations covering urban/rural/industrial and indoor/outdoor measurements will be made for both up to 30 minutes and up to 1 week. This will assess how similar exposures are between countries and also how they vary over time.
France: Exposures from 3G Phones and Mobile Data Services
France Telecom Orange Labs is conducting a two-part study for the GSMA. First, it is measuring the transmitted power of a 3G mobile phone during real use conditions such as indoor/outdoor or urban/rural and also assessing the effect of factors such as network parameters and data rate. In the second study the exposure of adults and children during voice calls, texting and sending an MMS are being assessed for 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz services. This work is now complete and publications have been submitted.
Exposure Aspects of W-CDMA – Report to the GSM Association, Andersen, et al, Center for Personkommunikation Aalborg University Denmark, December 2001.
Assessment of general public exposure to LTE and RF sources present in an urban environment, Joseph et al., Bioelectromagnetics, 31(7):576-579, October 2010.
Assessment of RF Exposures from Emerging Wireless Communication Technologies in Different Environments, Joseph et al., Health Physics, 102(2):161-172, February 2012.
In situ LTE exposure of the general public: Characterization and extrapolation, Joseph et al., Bioelectromagnetics, Published online: 23 January 2012.
Exposure induced by WCDMA mobiles phones in operating networks, Gati et al., IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, 8(12):5723-5727, December 2009.