Small cells and health

This is an extensive update of the first document ever published by SCF. Once again, it is issued in collaboration with GSMA and MWF and intended as a no-nonsense primer on the science behind RF exposure and health.

This document is designed to address questions related to exposure to radio frequency (RF) signals from small cells and 5G technology, including the use of millimetre-wave, massive MIMO, and beamforming technologies.

Recent years have seen a number of ‘information’ websites appear with warnings over the health implications of 5G deployment. SCF takes these concerns seriously and welcomes ongoing research, but the use of these wavelengths is nothing new. Point-to-point radio systems have used the millimetre-wave for decades to support regional communications before fiber became widespread, with no impact on health of users or communities.

Small cells transmit very low levels of radio waves. The safety of radio waves has been extensively studied for more than 60 years and the research is subject to constant and continual review by government health agencies and independent standards-setting bodies around the world. International health authorities have found no convincing scientific evidence that radio frequency signals from wireless communications pose any adverse health effects. Our brochure is accompanied by a web-page of resources and links to useful documents and studies on the topic.