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UK Network Operators Welcome NRPB Advice on Mobile Phones and Health

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“The key point of the NRPB advice is that there is no hard information linking the use of mobile telephony with adverse health effects,” said Mike Dolan, Executive Director of the Mobile Operators Association (MOA) which represents the operators on health and planning issues.

“This advice is consistent with the reassuring conclusion reached a year ago by the NRPB’s Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) when it found that the weight of scientific evidence available does not suggest that mobile technologies operating within international health and safety guidelines cause illness.”

“The operators have a very good track record of responding positively to advice from the NRPB and the Government. They adopted the precautionary approach recommended in 2000 and will carefully study the detailed recommendations made in this latest advice from the NRPB.”

“The operators agree with the NRPB that it is important to communicate with local authorities and the public when siting the new base stations which are needed to support the ever increasing site of mobile telephones by more than 55 million subscribers in the UK. This is why in September 2001 they published their Ten Commitments to best siting practice which are now contained in the Codes of Best Practice for mobile telecommunications development issued by the Governments of England and Wales.”

The operators remain committed to addressing public concerns about mobile telephony in an open and transparent way and, with other industry bodies and government, are supporting the £7.36 million Mobile Telecommunications Research Programme. The UK research is part of a major international programme addressing issues identified by the World Health Organisation.”

“During the past few years the operators have significantly increased their communication with local authorities and the public prior to lodging planning applications for new base stations, they have provided data on a regular basis to Ofcom to populate its Sitefinder database giving the locations of all mobile base stations in the UK, they have increased their efforts to share sites and have reported that to government on a regular basis, and they have provided extensive information to the public through printed literature, websites and personal discussion – all of this on a voluntary basis.”

Notes to Editors

1. The Mobile Operators Association (MOA), formerly part of the FEI, was set up to represent the five UK mobile phone network operators – 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone – on radio frequency health and planning issues. The MOA website is:

2. The NRPB Report can be found at:

3. There are 55 million mobile phone subscribers in the UK. There are approximately 40,000 radio base stations to support that use. Without a network of radio base stations where people want to use their mobile phones they will not work.

4. For more information please contact Christine Jude 0207 331 2029, 07714 241924, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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.