Auto translated from French

See the ANFR diagram at the above link.

The French National Frequency Agency has published the results of its study on radiation exposure created by mobile telephony (Mobile telephony: wireless phones that connect to phone towers to perform calls). This simulation, which takes into account the evolution of 4G and the arrival of 5G, tends to demonstrate that “the increase in exposure due to 5G in the 3.5 GHz band would remain moderate”.

Still at the experimental stage, 5G is at the heart of the debate in France. As of September 1 , 500 5G experimental stations in the 3.5 GHz band are authorized in France, including 483 stations in metropolitan France (67 for Bouygues Télécom, 353 for Orange, 54 for SFR and 9 for Free Mobile) and 17 in addition. sea ​ (Réunion). 

Operators are continuing to prepare as the auction for the allocation of 5G frequencies will begin on September 29 . In the meantime, the National Frequency Agency has decided to take stock of the radiation exposure, taking into account the arrival of 5G.

The results of this study  (PDF) have just been published and allow us to draw several lessons. Before looking at the results, the ANF explains that its simulation work was carried out in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, a very dense urban area. 

The agency also approached the Scientific and Technical Center for Building (CSTB) to carry out its study and take into account different scenarios.

The first scenario consisted in modeling the current state of mobile networks in the district, made up of a combination of 2G, 3G and 4G technologies, explains the ANFR in its report. This scenario is called “Initial State” . 

A second scenario has been designed to “reflect the ultimate optimization of 4G” , excluding the deployment of 5G ( “optimized 4G” scenario ). For the last two scenarios, the ANFR takes into account the arrival of 5G.

The third consisted of modeling the exposure produced by the entry into service of 5G in the 3.5 GHz band by using steerable beam antennas (“5G only” scenario). 

Finally, the last scenario combines the “optimized 4G” and “5G only” scenarios under the name “Majorant 5G” and presents itself as the most critical scenario.

4G optimization would increase the radiation exposure

The ANFR first notes that without 5G, the public’s exposure to airwaves should continue to increase to meet the growing demand for mobile connectivity in dense areas. An increase of around 70% compared to the current situation is mentioned. The agency indicates that the “optimized 4G” scenario tends to demonstrate that a possible delay in 5G would not have the effect of stabilizing public exposure at the current level. Indeed, a “significant increase in exposure in dense areas” is to be expected “to allow the 4G network to attempt to support part of the expected growth in traffic” 

The National Frequency Agency nevertheless specifies that “even in a theoretical maximalist configuration, the levels would remain very low with regard to the limit values ​​set between 36 and 61 V / m” . Indeed, the average exposure level is evaluated at 2.30 V / m outdoors and 1.30 V / m indoors.

The increase in exposure due to 5G “would remain moderate”

Regarding scenarios with 5G, the study indicates that “the increase in exposure due to 5G in the 3.5 GHz band would remain moderate, due to the steerable beam antennas  ” . 

The average level created by 5G is 1.36 V / m outdoors and 0.76 V / m indoors. For the ANFR, this shows that “5G steerable beam antennas in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band should not ultimately be the main contributor to exposure, including in dense urban areas where  these antennas should be widely deployed ”. It should be noted that 5G will be launched in France by first using this frequency band, the auction of September 29 aiming to allocate operators “blocks” of frequencies in the band ranging from 3.4 to 3. , 8 gigahertz (GHz).

Finally, the “Majorant 5G” scenario occupies a special status in this simulation. The study shows that it would lead to an increase in average exposure of around 30% compared to the “optimized 4G” scenario . At the same time, the implementation of the new 3.5 GHz band will have simultaneously increased the frequency allocation of operators by 50%. Nevertheless, the ANFR notes that this is a theoretical construction which “will undoubtedly never be implemented” . Indeed, the deployment of 5G “will not allow the optimization of 4G to be completed” .

Thomas Estimbre

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