Experimental and numerical assessment of low-frequency current distributions from UMTS and GSM mobile phones
The evaluation of the exposure from mobile communication devices requires consideration of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) over a broad frequency range from dc to GHz. Mobile phones in operation have prominent spectral components in the low-frequency (LF) and radio-frequency (RF) ranges. While the exposure to RF fields from mobile phones has been comprehensively assessed in the past, the LF fields have received much less attention. In this study, LF fields from mobile phones are assessed experimentally and numerically for the global system for mobile (GSM) and universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS) communication systems and conclusions about the global (LF and RF) EMF exposure from both systems are drawn. From the measurements of the time-domain magnetic fields, it was found that the contribution from the audio signal at a normal speech level, i.e., -16 dBm0, is the same order of magnitude as the fields induced by the current bursts generated from the implementation of the GSM communication system at maximum RF output level. The B-field induced by currents in phones using the UMTS is two orders of magnitude lower than that induced by GSM. Knowing that the RF exposure from the UMTS is also two orders of magnitude lower than from GSM, it is now possible to state that there is an overall reduction of the exposure from this communication system.