Mobile Phone Base Stations and Radiofrequency Radiation
The Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), as the telecommunications regulatory authority, regulates the use of radiofrequency (RF) spectrum in Singapore. In particular, IDA requires its licensees to comply with prescribed technical specifications, such as the emission power of mobile phone base stations, so that base stations operate within the standards developed by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP1). These ICNIRP guidelines are adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO). IDA works closely with the National Environment Agency (NEA), the national authority for radiation protection, to ensure that RF radiation safety requirements from mobile phone base stations are met.
With the popularity of mobile phone use today, mobile phone service providers have had to constantly deploy more base stations in order to ensure a good quality of service for its users. As of August 2008, the mobile phone penetration rate in Singapore was 128.4 per cent. Relating to the growth in the number of base stations, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of public queries on the health effects associated with exposure to RF radiation from mobile phones and their base stations. As such, these Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQs) aim to address IDA’s role as the telecommunications regulatory authority in relation to its licensees’ operation of mobile phone base stations.
ICNIRP is the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. It is a body of independent scientific experts addressing the important issues of possible adverse effects on human health of exposure to non-ionising radiation.