Small cells and health

The health impacts of wireless communications and small cells

Small cells transmit very low levels of radio waves (also known as radiofrequency electromagnetic fields). The safety of radio waves has been extensively studied for more than 60 years and the research is subject to constant and continual review by government health agencies and independent standards setting bodies round the world. Operators of 5G and small cell installations are closely monitored to ensure operations remain with the stringent safety guidelines in place for the industry. These guidelines are regularly reviewed and compliance is continually monitored.

International health authorities have found no convincing scientific evidence that radiofrequency signals from wireless communications pose any adverse health effects.

Recent years have seen a number of ‘information’ websites appear with warnings over the health implications of 5G deployment. The wireless industry takes these concerns seriously and welcomes ongoing research, but the use of these wavelengths is nothing new. Point-to-point radio systems have used the millimetre-wave for decades to support regional communications before fibre became widespread, with no impact on health of users or communities. The proposed use by 5G and small cells of the same bandwidth is also at a much lower power than historic uses of the wavelength.

Small cells and health

This document is designed to address questions related to exposure to radio frequency (RF) signals from small cells and 5G technology, including the use of millimetre-wave (mmWave), massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output), and beamforming technologies.


Cross industry research

The links below provide a wide-ranging set of references so that you can better understand the work that has been completed by the healthcare industry, governments, industry associations, universities and independent researchers, as well as operators.

We believe you will find this to be a useful, diverse and independent resource to understand the safety of 5G and the associated equipment and spectrum.


Healthcare industry links

Government links


Industry association links


Universities/independent studies