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Quadruple Dose of Radiation For All - OFCOM 3G Power Boost - Press Release 15th March 2010

With OFCOM’s Proposed 4 Times Signal Power Boost, the UK Population will be subjected to significantly more damaging microwave radiation – at a time when some other countries are reducing their exposure limits.

Vodafone and the other operators have been lobbying OFCOM for a signal boost for their existing 3G masts [2, 3] . This will be an approximate 4-fold increase[1]. In effect this represents 4 times as much microwave radiation over the entire area of the UK with current 3G coverage.

Vodafone has told Ofcom that permitting a higher maximum licensed power would enable it (and other operators) to optimise their networks allowing the flexibility to serve more effectively a wider area and community with better in-building penetration”

There is no real need for it, this is purely commercially driven to take on BT and Virgin Media. Particularly considering the advised 'Precautionary Approach' and the accompanying adverse health effects from microwave radiation this increase is totally unwarranted and unwelcome.

Anybody who is feeling the effects of existing mobile phone masts at existing signal levels in their own homes and offices with multiple symptoms of, for example, migraines, insomnia, itchy rashes, nose bleeds through to depression and the onset of cancer will find their symptoms increasing. And for the 3-4% or so of the population who are Electro Sensitive (ES) or Electro Hypersensitive (EHS) their lives will become increasingly unbearable as the places they can go within the UK will effectively disappear over night.

Additionally, OFCOM may well be acting illegally in proposing an increase in 3G licensed power without putting the licenses back out to tender.

The OFCOM consultation ends this Friday 19th March 2010. We urge all concerned parties to object to OFCOM[5].

Mast Sanity will be objecting primarily on grounds of health. There are 1000’s of studies (and this number is ever increasing) pointing to harm from microwave exposure below the UK exposure guidelines. This proposed increase will only make matters much worse.

The European Environment Agency are taking the research evidence seriously and are calling for exposures to be reduced citing the Bioinitiative Report[6] (a review of over 2000 published studies)

OFCOM is not in a position to consider the health aspect of this increase in exposures. It looks solely at the technical aspects.

Why is the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) not involved in this consultation and why does their advice differ from that of the EU Environment Agency?

Mast Sanity calls upon OFCOM to withdraw their proposals for a 3G Signal Power Increase.

Further Mast Sanity call upon OFCOM to immediately reduce all Mobile Phone signal levels to outdoor ‘ALARA’ levels (As low as reasonably acceptable) under the ‘Precautionary Principle’, to encourage fixed-line telephony within buildings, encourage investment in fibre optics and passive alternatives such as Visual Light Communications[8] and thus reduce the overall microwave load on the UK Population – NOT increase it.

 

 

Notes and References:

 

[1] OFCOM et al have given the impression that the increase is small by lulling people into thinking that an increase from 62dbm to 65dbm was only a small a linear increase. However this is a Logarithmic scale and that the increase is in fact to double the power. OFCOM are suggesting 68dbm - which doubles the power output again making an overall increase of approximately 200%.

 

[2] http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/05/3g_power/ - 3G networks appeal for power boost - Turning it up to eleven

 

Ofcom is considering allowing UK's mobile operators to quadruple the power of their 3G transmissions, to improve coverage and maybe roast a few more brain cells.

 

The request came from Vodafone, but when Ofcom consulted the other operators they all wanted in, so now the regulator has published a consultation (pdf) with plans to increase the permitted broadcast power almost four times (from 62 to 68 on the logarithmic dBm scale).

 

That's more than Vodafone, or anyone else, has asked for - existing kit can only kick out around 65dBm. But Ofcom doesn't want to be back here in a year when new kit comes out, so proposes setting the level higher. …

 

[3] http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/3Glicences/3Glicences/ -

Application for a variation to 3G licences (and consequent proposal to vary draft 2GHz MSS/CGC Base station licences)

Executive Summary

 

1.1   Vodafone (UK) Limited has submitted a request to Ofcom to vary its Wireless Telegraphy Third Generation Mobile Licence (3G) to increase the permitted power limits. The request has been discussed with other 3G licensed operators, all of whom have indicated that they would support the proposal and would like to benefit from the same condition being applied across the licence class. We are therefore consulting on the variation of all five existing 3G licences, rather than on the variation of Vodafone's licence alone.

 

[4] According to point 3.8 on page 5 in the consultation document at http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/3Glicences/3glicencescondoc.pdf  , the reason for wanting to increase the permitted power limits is better in-building penetration, i.e. -

 

"Vodafone has told Ofcom that permitting a higher maximum licensed power would enable it (and other operators) to optimise their networks allowing the flexibility to serve more effectively a wider area and community with better in-building penetration."

 

[8] - A safer and more environmentally friendly technology which will give improved indoor reception is being developed ( http://www.siemens.com/innovation/en/news_events/ct_pressreleases/e_research_news/2010/e_22_resnews_1002_1.htm ) To increase the power of existing technology is therefore hasty and irresponsible.

 

[5] - Consultations need to be sent to OFCOM at Ofcom, Riverside House,2a Southwark Bridge Road, London. SE1 9HA or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. using the following cover sheet http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/244504/ and quoting "Application for a variation to 3G licences (and consequent proposal to vary draft 2GHz MSS/CGC Base station licences)" (http://www.ofcom.org.uk/contactus/) by Friday 19th March 2010 or by the web form http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/3Glicences/howtorespond/form

 

[6] - The Bioinitiative Report -  http://www.bioinitative.org/report

 

[7] - As well as effects on humans, there is ample evidence showing that the radiation is responsible for the decline in the bee population[7]. We expect to see a further jump in bee losses with this increase in output levels. Bee decline - see - http://bemri.org/publications/biological-effects-of-non-ionizing-electromagnetic-radiation/doc_download/197-topical-issues-nature-and-bees.html

and http://bemri.org/publications/biological-effects-of-non-ionizing-electromagnetic-radiation.html?start=20

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