RF-EMF exposure induced by mobile phones operating in LTE small cells in two different urban cities
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With the huge growth in data traffic, the densification of the macro cell (MC) layer with low-powered small cell (SC) base stations (resulting in a heterogeneous network) will improve network performances in terms of radio coverage and capacity. However, this may influence the human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs). Through measurement campaigns in two different urban cities (in France and the Netherlands), the authors characterized the RF-EMF exposure induced by LTE (Long-Term Evolution) MC and SC networks, while considering radio emissions from both base stations (downlink or DL) and user equipment (uplink or UL). For an internet data usage and with respect to an MC connection, results showed that an SC connection may increase the DL exposure while decreasing the UL exposure (with a factor of 5 to 17), mainly due to the lower mobile phone emitted power and depending on whether the throughput is limited or not. Furthermore, the city with a dense network is characterized by low UL exposure and high DL exposure.
KeywordsElectromagnetic field Heterogeneous network Human exposure Radio frequency Small cell
This work was supported by both the ANSES-CREST project and the ANSES-AMPERE project. Sam Aerts is a Post-Doctoral Fellow of the FWO-V (Research Foundation—Flanders, Belgium).
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