5G, the IoT and Wearable Devices: What do the new uses of wireless technologies mean for radio frequency exposure?
Increased mobile connectivity will transform society, enabling changes in the way we live and do business, through new applications of wireless technology such as Fifth Generation (5G) mobile technology; the Internet of Things (IoT), also known as machine-to-machine (M2M) communications; and wearable devices. The GSMA has produced this publication to address questions related to exposure to radio frequency (RF) signals used by these networks and devices.
Wireless networks and devices exchange information (eg, voice or data) via RF signals – a form of electromagnetic energy, also called electromagnetic fields (EMFs). RF signals are part of everyday life, emitted both by natural sources like the sun and the Earth, and by artificial sources such as: wireless networks, TV and broadcast radio.
New applications, such as 5G, wireless IoT and wearable devices, are designed to comply with existing exposure limits. The international exposure guidelines have been developed as a result of the work of researchers for many decades. The guidelines are not technology specific and are periodically reviewed. The consensus of reviews by independent public health authorities, expert groups and the World Health Organization (WHO) is that these guidelines provide protection for all people (including children) against all established health hazards.
This booklet starts with answers to general questions and then follows with sections specific to 5G, IoT and wearable devices. Resources for further information and a table of abbreviations are included at the end.
Updated October 2019.