EME measurement survey

Measurement Survey Program

Electromagnetic Energy (EME) levels from telecommunication installations is information that the general public often enquire about. The Mobile Carriers Forum (MCF) have conducted a measurement survey program at 69 mobile base stations around the country. The survey was conducted by independent and accredited Radio Frequency (RF) assessors to measure the EME levels around mobile base stations.

The survey results confirm that EME levels are well under the Australian safety limit set by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA). The survey results compare the levels measured by the MCF Survey to the predicted levels published in the ARPANSA EME Reports that are available on the RFNSA for every mobile phone installation.

About the survey

The MCF commenced a nation-wide survey of mobile base station facilities in 2013.  The purpose of the survey was to measure the existing radio-frequency electromagnetic energy (EME) levels around the mobile base station facilities. The survey results were also compared to the levels produced by computational modelling methods adapted from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) EME Environmental Report published for each site (see ARPANSA EME Report).

How are the levels measured?

The modelled and measured levels are determined using the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) RBS measurement protocol which is available from AMTA upon request.  The protocol is closely based on the measurement protocol used by ARPANSA when conducting their own ARPANSA Base Station Survey 2007-2013 (see ARPANSA Base Station Survey).

The AMTA protocol focusses on measuring EME levels at or near the location where the maximum level of electromagnetic energy is predicted to occur.  This allows for base stations to be measured more efficiently greatly increasing the number of base station surveys that can be completed.

Although intended to provide a comparison to the EME level published in the ARPANSA Environmental EME Report, the modelled EME levels for the MCF survey may not be the same as the published levels in the ARPANSA Report.  This is because some of the assumptions for the modelling in the MCF survey program have been further refined to improve the accuracy of the calculated levels.

How are the sites selected?

We included a broad cross section of base stations sites in the survey to represent a range of:

  • Installation types (e.g. rooftops, freestanding masts and poles),
  • Installed technologies (e.g. 3G and/or 4G, and  combinations of different Carriers), and
  • Heights and locations (e.g. urban, suburban and rural).

An overarching criteria for base station selection was to include sites that have a higher level of predicted EME, relative to most other sites (in the top 10% of predicted levels). This was to ensure that the survey focused on the ‘worst-case’ sites of all the Carriers’ installations.


Check survey results and more information on the survey program: