3G masts 'safer than 2G'

Next-generation masts need lower antenna power than older 2G technology, according to the Australian Communications Authority

The Australian Communications Authority has released a fact sheet on the effects of radiation from 3G towers in an attempt to allay community fears.

The move comes after many clashes between Hutchison and residents over the placement of its telecommunication towers for its new 3G mobile phone network. The ACA said the towers produce less radiation than other devices that have been around for years.

"The ACA and ARPANSA [Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency] want to allay any community concern arising from the introduction into Australia of 3G mobile phone networks, which support video and data calls in addition to the services supported by other mobile networks," said the ACA’s acting chairman, Dr Bob Horton.

"The emission levels produced by 3G transmitters are considered to be low, with an average radiated power of around 3 watts. This average power is significantly lower than the power levels of some other common types of transmitters, such as two-way radios used by taxis and emergency services," said Horton. "For example, on average, a 3G mobile phone base station antenna radiates a little more than one tenth of the power of a taxi’s two-way radio."

Horton said because the 3G towers use smart technology to encode information on the radio signal and the fact that each tower covers a smaller area than other radiocommunications networks, the 3G towers need lower antenna power than other transmitters, including the GSM and CDMA transmitters of 2G networks.

The fact sheet can be found here.

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