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EMF Measurements in 5G NR

    Report Published on 12 Apr 2021
5G and the associated new technologies such as beamforming and frequencies above 3 GHz have raised a large number of discussions among the population. In 5G NR, beamforming is applied to almost all signals, in particular on data channel related signals (PDSCH etc.) and synchronization signals (SSB).

3GPP defined new bands such as n77 and n78 (3200 MHz to 4200 MHz) that raise health concerns, in particular with regard to increased electromagnetic radiation resulting from higher frequencies combined with beamforming. Consequently, the 5G rollout is slowing down in several countries until it is proven that the radiation is below a certain country- specific threshold.

To continue the network rollout, dynamic spectrum sharing between LTE and 5G NR in already used frequency bands could be a good compromise to provide 5G NR but use existing antennas without beamforming. In the case of dynamic spectrum sharing, specific LTE subframes are omitted to allow the insertion of 5G NR signal components. Furthermore, dynamic spectrum sharing provides much less usable spectrum. Because of these facts, dynamic spectrum sharing is not as efficient as a 5G NR rollout based on 3.5 GHz with beamforming antenna arrays in terms of the data that can be achieved. Nevertheless, the radiated power is also increasing, and operators and governments have to ensure that the total radiated power (and electromagnetic pollution) is below a certain threshold.

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