29 September 2022

Scientists at Swinburne University of Technology and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) are working together to improve the experimental design of research into 5G and future high-frequency wireless technologies.  

Until recently, mobile phone technology used radio waves in the electromagnetic spectrum below 4 GHz. But some 5G and future generations will use higher frequencies to meet the increasing demand for faster services.  

ARPANSA’s Health Impact Assessment Assistant Director, Associate Professor Ken Karipidis, is leading ARPANSA’s involvement in the study and said that it is important that research investigating higher frequencies is valid and of high quality.  

‘To make sure that people and the environment are safe from radiation, we want to improve research methods into the health effects of high-frequency radio waves,’ Associate Professor Karipidis said.  

‘Our study will look at different experimental parameters in radio wave exposure, like temperature, to define best-practice methods so scientists can use these in future research.’ 

Swinburne’s lead scientist on this study, Professor Andrew Wood, said another focus of the study is to investigate the effects of future higher frequency wireless technology.  

‘We need to continue research on the effects of high-frequency radio waves so that we can be confident people are safe when there are further developments in the future, be it 6G, 7G and so on,’ Professor Wood said. 

‘The focus of this study is exposing especially sensitive biological tissues to radio waves at or above the 5G frequencies to see if there are any effects. 

‘It is important to note that higher frequency does not mean stronger or more intense exposure.’  

Director of the Australian 6G Research and Innovation Lab, Swinburne’s Dr Ali Yavari, said ‘this project involving Swinburne University of Technology and ARPANSA facilities will create an innovative and collaborative research capability platform for cutting-edge and impactful research in this field.’  

Results are expected to be published next year. You can read the research abstract here.

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