Ofcom tests find UK 5G radiation is safe

(Image credit: Huawei)

Ofcom says its latest round of spectrum testing shows that 5G networks do not pose a health risk to the public.

The regulator has tested electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions from mobile and wireless equipment for several years and has now expanded this programme to cover the bands that will be used to deliver 5G mobile services.

At none of the locations it conducted such testing did it find any cause for concern.

Ofcom 5G testing

“We measured EMF emissions at 16 5G sites in 10 cities across the UK, focusing on areas where mobile use is likely to be highest,” the organisation said.

“At every site, emissions were a small fraction of the levels included in international guidelines– set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). And the maximum measured at any site was approximately 1.5 per cent of those levels.”

It remains to be seen whether anti-5G campaigners will be convinced by Ofcom’s findings given the apparent disregard for other academic and scientific studies. Campaigners argue the higher band frequencies and denser network architecture of 5G mean that radiation will be amplified.

They argue this this will result in a range of health problems, such as concern, and have urged local authorities and operators to cease rollout until further tests have been conducted. This is despite the fact that the entire body of research available refutes these claims, while World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations are that 5G is safe.

There have also been instances of disinformation and fake news. In the UK, charity Electrosensitivity-UK ran a campaign in the summer of last year, depicting a family holding hands with the caption “How safe is 5G?”. The poster included quotes from professionals claiming 5G caused reduced fertility, depression, disturbed sleep, headaches and cancer.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned the advert, ruling the claims could not be supported by scientific evidence.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.