New web app for easier access to telecommunications network safety information

A new mobile telecommunications industry web app for smartphones and tablets – MobileSiteSafety – provides streamlined public access to mobile network information, including the location of Australia’s nearly 14,000 base stations and reports on radio frequency electromagnetic energy (RF EME) levels and site compliance records.

The app also provides specialised safe work procedures for workers, technicians and maintenance personnel accessing building rooftops, towers or other facilities with mobile base station antennas.

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) launched MobileSiteSafety at Science and Wireless 2013 in Melbourne.

AMTA Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus, said MobileSiteSafety uses location-based services to provide the user with a map of their closest base stations.

“MobileSiteSafety gives public access to location details and information on the operation of base stations, including the predicted EME levels at base stations and how those levels in public areas around base stations comply with independent scientific safety standards.

“MobileSiteSafety is also a valuable tool for rooftop maintenance staff and other workers who access restricted areas near base stations.

“After identifying buildings with antennas, rooftop maintenance staff and other workers can obtain contact details via the app and request a login to view safety drawings showing areas that should not be accessed, such as exclusion zones directly in front of antennas. This is the mobile equivalent of ‘dial before you dig’.”

Although this information has been available publicly since 2003 through the Radio Frequency National Site Archive (RFNSA) and the mobile RFNSA in 2011, this new app makes it far more accessible to the public and also maintenance workers and technicians, who are required to work on or near base stations.

The Mobile Carriers Forum, which is a division of AMTA, maintains the RFNSA as a publicly accessible database that provides information about base stations, including technical details, location, proposed public consultation activities, such as community information sessions for base station proposals, and safety compliance documentation.

Supplementing the new app is a MobileSiteSafety You Tube channel providing information on mobile base station safety and working near base station antennas.

Introduction to MobileSiteSafety

EME Safe Work Procedure Summary

Correct Use of RadMan Personal RF Monitor

EME Levels on a Mobile Phone Tower

 Mike Wood

The Federal Government regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), requires all mobile phone network carriers to comply with safety standards and conducts independent audits of base stations.

Mobile carriers make publicly available maximum predicted radiation (EME) levels around base stations operating at full power and site compliance certificates to verify sites meet official government safety standards.

Base stations operate by sending and receiving low-powered radio signals. There are

no established health risks from exposures to radio frequency signals from wireless communications up to levels recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which says:

Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects.

MCF Fact sheet “Mobile Site Safety” can be found at: http://www.mcf.amta.org.au/pages/Fact.Sheets