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Melbourne Seminar on 5G and EMF

Chris Althaus, AMTA CEO

The road to 5G will necessarily require informed planning and research to ensure that implementation delivers value and meets expectations. As we know, 5G capabilities will extend far beyond previous generations.

As part of the process the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) and the Mobile Wireless Forum (MWF) delivered a seminar in Melbourne last week to discuss the latest on the international EMF (Electromagnetic fields) exposure and compliance testing standards for 5G. Inherent in the discussion was an overview on how the Australian industry is preparing; the latest research perspectives; and the general importance of 5G to Australia.

This is an ongoing process of meetings, seminars and workshops which seeks to ensure that good science and accurate data informs the pre-planning and ultimate introduction of Australia’s 5G network. The Melbourne seminar which took place at Telstra, featured leading research experts from Ericsson Sweden, AMTA, MWF and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Events such as these are ongoing and contribute to research and the scientific database that will form the basis for EMF/EME compliance assessment methodology for 5G equipment.  The aim is to make sure that the compliance testing standards are available for the early 5G trials and commercial deployment.

Much of the discussion also provides a logical framework for developing a global approach that can harmonise standards for communities, governments, industry and stakeholders. Most importantly, a key IEC meeting in October this year will take place in Australia where the global industry will gather to finalise standards for testing 5G devices. The IEC focus is to ensure that EMF compliance standards are ready to meet the deployment of 5G technology. Mike Wood, an EMF specialist from Telstra is Chair of the IEC committee TC106, which has responsibility to develop the global compliance assessment standards for wireless devices and networks including 5G.

Ericsson’s Senior Scientific Researcher from Sweden, Davide Colombi also contributed to the forum and shared various insights on Ericsson’s active participation in international standardisation activities to define EMF/EME compliance assessment methodology. Colombi is an M.Sc. graduate in telecommunication engineering from Politecnico di Milano, Italy.

Other speakers provided excellent presentations on the range of issues concerning 5G, EMF research and the role of standards in helping harmonise global activity.

  • Chris Althaus - AMTA CEO provided an informative overview of 5G and the current transition from 4G that will likely bring transformative change across all sectors and industries in society.
  • Mike Wood - Chair of the AMTA RF Safety Program, and Chairman of IEC TC106 talked about human exposure compliance assessment procedures related to 5G and how Australia is making a signifiant contribution to the process.
  • Dr Ken Joyner - MWF Chair talked about 5G related research including compliance testing research initiatives.
  • Prof Rodney Croft - from the University of Wollongong provided an update on 5G research being conducted by the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research (ACEBR).
  • Prof Andrew Wood and Alireza Lajevardipour - from the Swinburne University node of ACEBR covered research on the importance of characterising absorption patterns of electromagnetic energy in human tissue.

The mobile  telecommunications industry in Australia remains committed to participating in relevant research conducted by independent organisations that informs the design of 5G devices that comply with established radio wave exposure limits.

The seminar took place at Telstra on 21 April 2017 in Melbourne.

Photo credit: L to R - Dr Ken Joyner, Davide Colombi, Chris Althaus, Mike Wood.

26 April 2017




AMTA welcomes deployment regulation amendments

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) welcomes the announcement today from the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mitch Fifield, regarding the progression of 10 reforms to the regulations governing the deployment of wireless and mobile networks in Australia; as well as further consultation on 11 other proposed reforms. In welcoming the announcement, AMTA Chief Executive, Chris Althaus noted the Government’s reform package will go some way towards enabling the deployment of the next generation 5G mobile networks which are expected to bring significant improvements in speed, quality and capacity for Australia’s data hungry consumers.  But he also noted there was still more to do. “This is a welcome and very important first step - in what we hope will be an ongoing engagement with government and stakeholders to develop a dynamic regulatory framework to meet the deployment challenges of next generation networks.


Final NTP results cannot confirm mobile phone cause cancer in humans

The long awaited final results of the decade-spanning US National Toxicology Program on radiofrequency energy exposure has found no consistent effects in male and female mice and rats exposed to mobile phone signals for their whole life (2 years). However, in a sub-section of the study, researchers found that at the highest doses for the longest periods of time, cellphone radiation might cause a rare cancer in male rats. “High exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in rodents resulted in tumours in tissues surrounding nerves in the hearts of male rats, but not female rats or any mice, according to draft studies from the National Toxicology Program (NTP),” said a press release from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences where the program is headquartered.

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AMTA Annual Report 2017

In 2017, the strong demand for mobile services continues to have an impact on our economy and society as the industry shifts its focus in preparation for 5G, the next generation of mobile technology. AMTA’s latest Annual Report includes the following highlights: As industry prepares for 5G the need for regulatory reform in spectrum management and network infrastructure deployment is increasingly urgent. 5G Mobile – Enabling Businesses and Economic Growth Report by Deloitte Access Economics found that 5G is expected to further drive Australia’s digital economy. It will add to the already significant (and growing) $34 billion in long-term productivity benefits from mobile; and annual network spend from mobile providers is expected to reach $5.7 billion in FY2017-18. The MCF has focused on an agenda of legislative reform to support the efficient and flexible deployment of network infrastructure.


How will 5G improve network performance

While the technical standards for 5G are still being developed, experts agree that 5G will offer: Latency of less than 1ms; Ability to deliver speeds of up to 10 Gbps and beyond; Energy efficiency in running 1000s of devices; and Improved network capacity by enabling millions of low bandwidth devices to connect simultaneously. Where 4G focussed on providing improved speed and capacity for individual mobile phone users, 5G will enable more industrial applications, and could be a major technological driver in industrial digitalisation. For more information about 5G read our latest report from Deloitte Access Economics. Download the complete report.