Mobile phones, cordless phones and WLAN routers use high-frequency electromagnetic waves to transmit information wirelessly. To date no detrimental impact of this radiation has been scientifically proven. However long-term risks cannot be excluded and are the subject of ongoing scientific research. We are thus committed to researching the risks entailed by radiation and their precautionary avoidance.
As co-founder and sponsor of ETH Zurich's independent Swiss Research Foundation for Electricity and Mobile Communication we promote research into technical, biological, health and social issues related to the electromagnetic fields from radio and electric power technologies. We maintain a constant dialogue with all stakeholder groups and implement innovations to promote the minimisation of emissions. Watch the video of Dr. Hugo Lehmann, Head of Environment & Test Lab, in a field trial.
On the one hand, high-frequency electromagnetic waves have a thermal impact: they heat up our body. However the field strengths generated by mobile telephony are so negligible that they can barely raise our skin temperature. Aside from investigating long-term risks, research is also focused on the non-thermal impact and its biological effects.
Our mobile network must comply with threshold values for non-ionising radiation ten times higher than those common in Europe. It may sound paradoxical but radiation pollution is generally lower close to transmitter masts than it is much further away. Incidentally, mobile phones only emit waves during calls. The SAR value that we publish with mobile phones sold in our shops and online indicates the maximum emission level of a device. Anyone wishing to take more precautions can do so effectively by taking some simple steps.
The opposition to new masts has gathered momentum: it is not unusual for two years to pass before a new mast can go into service. When planning new masts, we make sure that we address needs exactly. If possible, we extend existing plants and cooperate with other network operators at new sites. And we also aim for optimum integration into the environment. We seek a dialogue with communities and cantons to find the widest possible consensus for solutions.
We launched the first low-radiation cordless phones back in 2006. Then in 2008, as the first telecom provider worldwide to do so, we introduced our extremely low-radiation Ecomode Plus devices, reducing emissions by up to 80%. We also attach importance to the lowest possible emissions on our WLAN routers and TV boxes. Thanks to convenient online configured switch-on times, devices can be switched off completely when they are not in use – at night for instance.