Radiation Protection

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ARPANSA Environmental EME Reports

Mobile phone base station antenna

New or upgraded mobile phone base stations require documentation that shows the calculated levels of electromagnetic energy around the facility.

Introduction

Wireless base stations are used to deliver mobile phone and data services such as broadband internet to subscribers in the community. Before wireless base stations are built or upgraded, the network operator (carrier) is required to produce a report that shows the calculated levels of radiofrequency electromagnetic energy (EME) around the new or upgraded facility. This web page and the associated web pages explain these reports and what they contain.

Regulatory Background

Wireless base stations include radio transmitters that radiate EME into the surrounding area. The levels of these electromagnetic fields must comply with safety limits imposed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) under the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Apparatus Licence) Determination 2003. These limits are based on the ARPANSA Radiation Protection Standard - Maximum Exposure Levels to Radiofrequency Fields - 3kHz to 300GHz.

For companies providing public mobile telecommunications services, ACMA also requires compliance with industry codes of practice including the Communications Alliance Ltd C564:2011 Industry Code - Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment. Under this Code, the network operators of mobile phone networks (carriers) have certain obligations when planning, installing or upgrading wireless base stations. These include providing information about calculated levels of EME in the vicinity of a new or upgraded facility. The Code requires this information to be prepared in accordance with the ARPANSA Prediction Methodology and presented as a report in an approved ARPANSA Environmental EME Report format. Environmental EME Reports for different wireless base stations across Australia can be found in the Radio Frequency National Site Archive.

ARPANSA Environmental EME Report

In May 2012 the ARPANSA Environmental EME Report template was updated to refer to 'wireless' base stations rather than 'mobile phone' base stations. This change was made to reflect the significant growth of mobile broadband and data services operating on the Australian mobile networks.

In July 2013 the ARPANSA Environmental EME Report template version 11 was released. The changes to the format were introduced after consultation with the EME Reference Group in order to make the report easier to read and understand. The revised report provides a format suitable for all sites, whether existing, proposed or a mixture of existing and proposed. In order to facilitate the transition, the revised and superseded EME Report formats may both be used until the end of March 2014. Existing reports will remain in their current format.

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