Australian exposure limits

For mobile telecommunications frequencies, the relevant standard enforced in Australia is the Radiation Protection Standard for Maximum Exposure Levels to Radiofrequency Fields – 3kHz to 300GHz (also called RPS3 or simply the ARPANSA Standard). At the frequencies considered in this study, the exposure limits it specifies are equivalent to those of the 1998 Guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

These limits have been determined on the basis of established health effects and include safety margins. They are designed to protect all members of the public including those sometimes thought to be particularly vulnerable (the elderly, the infirm, pregnant women and children).

The most restrictive of the appropriate limits from the ARPANSA Standard is the reference level for time averaged general public exposure. These reference levels are used for all comparisons in this study.

At the time of this survey there were four frequency bands used for transmissions from mobile phone base stations in Australia. Although the allowable limits vary within three of the frequency bands, for simplicity a single value will be used. The chosen values of the limit are more restrictive (slightly lower) than those allowed by the ARPANSA Standard.

Band Name Frequency [MHz] Services Limit [mW/m2]
850 MHz 870 - 890 WCDMA (UMTS) 4250
900 MHz 935 - 960 GSM & WCDMA 4500
1800 MHz 1805 - 1880 GSM & LTE 9000
2100 MHz 2110 - 2170 UMTS (WCDMA) 10000


Reference level for time averaged general public exposure to RF fields.