5G EMF safety measurements

However you look at it compared to previous 2G/3G/4G scenarios performing field strength measurements on 5G systems is sadly a bit more complicated. ‘Sadly’ because it can add confusion that all too easily fuels 5G misinformation and debate.

Before we get to the technical side of the measurements it’s important to point out 5G is a name not a quantity and what you require from your measurement equipment can vary. There are a number of 5G bands and for all the talk of ‘high frequencies’ right now installations in the UK will be in the 700 MHz or 3.6 GHz bands i.e. similar or lower in frequency to other telecoms and WiFi frequency bands.

What is a bit different to the previous ‘Gs’ is signal bandwidth. 5G bandwidths can be up to 100 MHz compared to 4G at 5 to 20 MHz. For example in the UK it’s quite possible (in the 3.6 GHz band) to see a bandwidth of 40 MHz in use.

This means that typical hand held spectrum analysers might not be able to see all of the bandwidth simultaneously. The disadvantage of this is that the analyser has to sweep over the band and may miss changes in one part of the band whilst looking at another. Sounds like it might be a problem but with the dedicated safety software and firmware you get with the Narda SRM-3006 it’s easy to set the instrument to sweep across a given band and then integrate the various maximum values captured over a period of time.

The SRM-3006 remains the instrument of choice for frequency selective safety measurements. For further information on 5G measurements with the SRM see this NSTS video.

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