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Measuring 5G safety levels
Devices in the Telstra 5G Lab in Australia

The latest generation of mobile network technology, 5G, opens up exciting new possibilities for a range of technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). It offers greater capacity, as well as much faster download speeds than 4G and 3G networks.

The technology is also very different. 5G uses a new beam steering technology that connects users through smaller, more directional radio signals from the base station, rather than a wider signal that is sent to all mobiles.

4G and 3G networks have antennas that send the radio signal out in all directions. It is a wide beam and a wide signal that is always there, whether you have one device or 1000 devices.

TC 106 Chair Mike Wood recently joined IEC Young Professionals working in 5G and IoT for an IEC Academy webinar about global 5G EMF safety testing standards. It included live demonstrations of EMF measurement.

Much of the efficiency and capacity that 5G offers stems from its beamforming abilities. 5G will identify where the devices are and send a small narrow beam to those devices.

It can connect more users through smaller radio signals and this reduces the overall EMF exposure. It works a bit like a theatre usher showing someone to her seat with the help of a small pencil beam torch, rather than switching on the full theatre lighting.

Since the overall lighting is low, ushers can seat people without disturbing others. In terms of 5G, it means that you are not sending energy to where it is not needed.

IEC Technical Committee 106 prepares international standards on measurement and calculation methods to assess human exposure to electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields. TC 106 brings together global experts from mobile operators, mobile manufacturers, academia, government regulators and testing laboratories.

The IEC Young Professionals Programme offers participants and their organization an important networking platform and a unique opportunity to help shape international standardization and conformity assessment work. The IEC benefits from the increased participation of young experts who bring new ideas to its activities.

The IEC Academy and Capacity Building team works closely with National Committees, IEC Regional Centres and IEC Departments to build knowledge and grow enthusiasm through high-quality training, workshops, webinars and online learning modules for a global network of experts within the IEC community and beyond.

Watch the full Live from the Lab video and download the presentation slides here.

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