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Mobile operators welcome latest report on mast emissions

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18 February 2003

Mobile phone network operators today welcomed the Telecoms Minister, Stephen Timms’ announcement of continued independent testing of radio wave emissions for schools and hospitals in 2003.

Mike Dolan, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association said:

"We welcome the publication of the latest Radiocommunications Agency report which shows that radio wave emissions from radio base stations at schools and hospitals are hundreds to millions of times below the international public exposure guidelines.

"The mobile phone operators understand the concerns some people have raised regarding mobile phone base stations and health, and are committed to addressing these concerns openly and transparently. The audit provides independent information for the public who can see that mobile phone base stations operate at small fractions of the guidelines."

The second year of auditing sites adds weight to the conclusion of the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones in May 2000 that the balance of evidence indicates that there is no general risk to the health of people living near base stations, on the basis that exposures are small fractions of the guidelines.

He added "The key to successfully addressing public concerns about mobile phone masts lies in better dialogue with the community based on significantly improved communication and consultation. The operators have already introduced a package of Ten Commitments to best practice siting standards across the UK to better address public concern."

Notes to Editors

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA) was established in January 2003 to represent the five UK mobile phone network operators - 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone - on radio frequency health and planning issues.

2. Details of each of the 2001 and 2002 audits can be found on the Radiocommunications Agency website www.radio.gov.uk

3. The UK mobile phone operators are implementing ten best practice commitments on base station siting. Key elements of this initiative are improved transparency, more publicly available information, and improved communication and consultation with local authorities and the public.

The 10 Commitments are:

  • develop, with other stakeholders, clear standards and procedures to deliver significantly improved consultation with local communities
  • participate in obligatory pre-rollout and pre-application consultation with local planning authorities
  • publish clear, transparent and accountable criteria and cross-industry agreement on site sharing, against which progress will be published regularly
  • establish professional development workshops on technological developments within telecommunications for local authority officers and elected members
  • deliver, with the Government, a database of information available to the public on radio base stations
  • assess all radio base stations for international (ICNIRP) compliance for public exposure, and produce a programme for ICNIRP compliance for all radio base stations as recommended by the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones
  • provide, as part of planning applications for radio base stations, a certification of compliance with ICNIRP public exposure guidelines
  • provide specific staff resources to respond to complaints and enquiries about radio base stations, within ten working days
  • begin financially supporting the Government's independent scientific research programme on mobile communications health issues
  • develop standard supporting documentation for all planning submissions whether full planning or prior approval

 

For more information please contact - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (020 7331 2029 , 020 7331 2029, 07714 241924, 07714 241924) - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (0207 331 2052, 0207 331 2052, 07736 110787, 07736 110787.

61% of UK adults access the internet from mobiles

Mobile phones cannot work without a network of base stations (masts). There are approximately 52,500 base station sites (excluding microcells) in the UK. Only a third of these are large, free standing masts. A YouGov survey for MOA (Sept 2014) showed that nearly 8 out of 10 people recognise the link between masts and good mobile coverage. Mobile telecommunications are vital for the UK’s economic competitiveness and in promoting social inclusion. There are now 89.9 million mobile subscriptions in the UK. In Q1 2015 61 per cent of UK adults used their mobile phones for internet access. Tablet ownership is 54% of UK households.

No Established Health Effects

Mobile phones operate by using radio waves, similar to those that have been widely used for decades, for example in radio, TV and radar signals. A large number of studies over the last two decades have found no clear evidence of adverse health effects from the use of mobile phones or from phone masts.