Experimental and Numerical Assessment of Low-Frequency Current Distributions from UMTS and GSM Mobile Phones

Marie-Christine Gosselin, Sven Kühn, and Niels Kuster, Physics in Medicine and Biology, Volume 58, Issue 23, pp. 8339–8357, December 2013, online November 11, 2013

While the exposure to RF fields from mobile phones has been comprehensively assessed in the past, the LF fields have received much less attention. In this study, LF fields from mobile phones were assessed experimentally and numerically for the global system for mobile (GSM) and universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS) communication systems, and conclusions about the maximum and expected average (LF and RF) EMF exposure from both systems were drawn.

The scientific impact of this study can be summarized as:

  • An extensive experimental dataset for the LF induced magnetic fields from the feeding current of 10 handsets, 3 communication bands, and 3 power control levels was compared with reference levels from 3 international standards.
  • Numerical results of the induced fields in 4 anatomical heads compared with standards and guidelines show that exposure levels from the LF fields are a factor of 100 lower with UMTS than with GSM.
  • Knowing that the RF exposure from the UMTS in real environments is two orders of magnitude lower than that from GSM allows us to conclude that there is an overall reduction of the EMF exposure from this communication system when used in real networks.
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