Radiation effect must be checked before 4G system is okayed

Officials say upgrading infrastructure to for 4G cellular phones could increase use of such technologies and increase public’s exposure to radiation.

February 28, 2011 03:14
1 minute read.
A  cell phone user [illustrative]

Cellphone user 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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The Health and Environmental Protection ministries told the Communications Ministry on Sunday that they will oppose the expansion of cellular phone infrastructure to accommodate “fourth-generation” (4G) devices, at least until any health effects from the radiation are examined in depth.

The directors-general of the two ministries, Dr. Ronni Gamzu and Alona Schefer Caro, called on Communications Ministry Director-General Eden Bar-Tal to coordinate with them on the issue.

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They wrote in an urgent letter that upgrading infrastructure to introduce fourth-generation cellular phones is liable to increase the use of such technologies and increase the public’s exposure to cellular electromagnetic radiation.

Its effects on health “have not yet been adequately proven,” Gamzu and Schefer Caro concluded, “thus the cautionary principle must be observed.”

In telecommunications, 4G is a successor to 3G and 2G families of standards, and speed requirements set the maximum download speed at 100 Mbit/s for high mobility communications such as from trains and cars and 1 Gbit/s for low-mobility communication (such as pedestrians and stationary users).

A 4G system is meant to provide a comprehensive and secure broadband system for laptop computers’ wireless modems, smart phones and other cellular devices and support ultra-broadband Internet access, gaming services, streamed multimedia and other services.

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