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France Measuring Radiation Increases in 5G Deployment

May 2, 2020


5G & Wireless Radiation Levels Measured Day & Night in Two Cities in France: Data Posted Online

France’s spectrum agency ANFR announced a new website that publishes live data on radio frequency (RF) exposure in the vicinity of cell sites taking part in 5G pilots. The strength of the exposure, measured in volts per metre (V/m), is constantly assessed using a number of recently installed autonomous sensors. Marseille and Nantes are the first cities participating in the project, with more installations in other locations across the country expected in the coming weeks. Sensors were installed in March. 

EHT note: Several countries have real time radio frequency radiation monitoring in their countries. The US does not. Government measurements have not been done by federal agencies for almost 40 years as the EPA was defunded in the 90’s.

The sensors take measurements every two hours and will capture levels from equipment operating between the 80 MHz and 6 GHz bands,  including cellular networks, FM radio, and Wi-Fi. Measurements are made periodically, over a period of 6 minutes, at different times of the day and night every 2 hours approximately. These values ​​will be published in real time on the ANFR website .

Already the sensors have found that the levels  show that the overall exposure to radio waves varies quite regularly between day and night : in the example presented below (fig. 1), the values ​​measured during at night are less than 1 V / m and can go down to around 0.8 V / m. Then they go up during the day to reach values ​​close to 1.2 V / m. This level remains generally stable during the day.

ANFR Fig. 1: Variation of the day / night measurements taken on a sensor in the city center of Marseille

These sensors also show that the COVID confinement led  to a local drop in exposure . For example, in the table in the appendix (fig. 2), from the first day of confinement, a drop of 21% appears on one of the sensors installed in Nantes. This phenomenon is also visible in the curve presented in the appendix (fig. 3).

ANFR Fig. 2: Measurements recorded by the sensors during the confinement period

ANFR: Fig. 3: Measurements recorded during the pre- and post-containment periods on a sensor located in the city center of Nantes

5G traffic remains low at present in the areas monitored by the sensors, as mobile operators will not launch commercial services later this year. This will enable ANFR’s analysts to understand the impact of 5G  in terms of radio frequency levels when the networks are more fully  deployed.

France already has among the most stringent laws on cell phones and wireless. Cell phones must be labeled for radiation values and are independently tested for radiation levels. Phones designed for young children may not be sold and companies are prohibited from advertising aimed at children. Wi-fi is removed from kindergartens and restricted in schools. The country passed a comprehensive transparency law in 2015 and among the many country actions, the ANFR agency monitors and posts cell tower radiation levels and cell phone radiation levels online.



Telecom Paper: French spectrum agency launches live data tool on radiation near 5G sites