Mobile Devices

The World Health Organization states that:

‘A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established for mobile phone use.’

Mobile communications devices are low powered radio transmitters and adjust their powers to operate at the lowest level possible taking account of the quality of the radio connection to the network.

Connection: When the connection is good, such as close to a network antenna, a mobile phone will operate on the lowest power level needed for call quality.

Signal: When distance increases between a base station and a mobile phone it must increase transmit power to maintain signal quality. This reduces battery life.

Handover: The process of transferring a call is termed handover and as the mobile phone moves closer to another base station the required power level will be reduced.

Press the labels to see this process in action.

On the left of the mobile phone display is the battery level and on the right the received signal strength. Note the change in the transmitted signal power represented by the circular arcs and the effect on the battery level.

See also our interactive tool on Mobile Phones and Base Stations and our YouTube videos on making a call and adaptive power control.

Wireless devices are designed to comply with international safety guidelines or national requirements.The measure of human exposure is the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). The SAR is determined at the highest certified power level in laboratory conditions (YouTube), however, the actual level of the phone while operating can be well below this value. The Mobile Manufacturers Forum has developed a program to increase awareness of SAR information for the benefit of consumers.


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