Press Releases

January 1970

Experts Report No Evidence of Health Risk from Mobile Communications

Islamabad, 19 December 2006: Based on the conclusions of the extensive body of independent research, there is no convincing scientific evidence of a health risk associated with either the proper use of mobile phones or with living near a base station.

This was stated by international and local experts at Cellular infrastructure a socially responsible approach? an industry-first seminar of its kind jointly organized by Telenor Pakistan and Nokia Pakistan.

Speaking at the occasion, Federal Minister for IT & Telecom Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari said, With the governments support, the local telecom sector is witnessing a phenomenal level of expansion today and is a significant contributor to the countrys economic growth. At the same time, government is conscious of its responsibility to protect the health and well being of the people. However, the government must always act judiciously and on the basis of solid research and international standards, and not for shallow point scoring. We will never compromise public safety when there is a risk. But we must also not jeopardize businesses on the basis of pure gossip or myths.?

As presented here today, current scientific evidence concludes that general public exposure to mobile telephones and base stations, in normal circumstances, does not cause adverse health effects and all regulations in this regard should be based on international standards,? Leghari said.

Dr. Michael Repacholi, Former Coordinator, Radiation & Environmental Health Unit World Health Organization, spoke on the topic of Scientific Basis for Standards of Mobile Networks. Dr. Repacholi presented research on the health impact of mobile infrastructure-related radio frequency (RF) and WHOs recommendations to national authorities on RF and standards.

Dr. Repacholi said, The possibility of a health risk from mobile communications signals has been investigated through extensive research. The results have not provided support for there being any adverse health effects from exposure at levels below current international standards. Moreover, for the radio and TV broadcast frequencies that have exposed populations for more than 50 years, no established health consequences are apparent.?

Despite unavoidable uncertainty, current scientific evidence points to the conclusion that public exposure to radio frequency fields from mobile telephones and base stations does not have any adverse health consequences,? Dr. Repacholi concluded.

Dr. Jack Rowley, Director Research & Sustainability GSM Association, in his presentation titled International Overview of Regulatory Models for Mobile Networks, said that in some countries the deployment of cellular wireless networks has been accompanied by controversy linked to concerns about possible effects on health and insufficient dialogue between local authorities and network operators.

He stated, The reality is that exposures from base stations are typically much less than 1% of international guidelines and comparable to broadcast radio and TV services.?

Public mobile communications is not only an important business, but is also a critical national infrastructure providing personal and societal benefits in times of emergency and disaster. Therefore, national and local governments should adopt policies based on international scientific guidelines and they should provide for consistent planning policies in regard to siting of base stations,? Rowley said.

Telenor Pakistans CEO Tore Johnsen and Nokia Pakistans Country Director Networks Veqar Ul Islam thanked the participants for their support and reiterated their commitment to rolling out modern networks in a socially responsible approach, delivering on environmental and healthy safety standards. Tore stressed that more should be done to encourage and enforce infrastructure-sharing in order to reduce environmental burden. Infrastructure-sharing is the internationally recommended practice of using one tower to carry antennas from multiple mobile operators instead of having separate towers for each operator.

Others who also spoke included: State Minister Health Begum Shehnaz Sheikh, Minister of Health Punjab Chaudhary Muhammad Iqbal, Minister Environment Punjab Dr. Anjum Amjad, Nokia Pakistans Manager EMF Dr. Jafar Keshvari, Secretary Local Government Punjab Ikhlaq Ahmad Tarar presented Punjabs recently stipulated policy guidelines for installation of mobile phone towers. Audience consisted of media, academia, industry representatives, and senior members of government.

The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association representing more than 700 GSM mobile phone operators across 215 countries of the world. The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers. The Association's members serve more than 2 billion customers - 82% of the world's mobile phone users.

Nokia is a world leader in mobile communications, driving the growth and sustainability of the broader mobility industry. Nokia connects people to each other and the information that matters to them with easy-to-use and innovative products like mobile phones, devices and solutions for imaging, games, media and businesses. Nokia provides equipment, solutions and services for network operators and corporations.

The Telenor group is an international provider of high quality telecommunications, data and media communication services. Telenor ranks as one of the biggest GSM service providers in the world with over 105 million subscribers. Telenor Pakistan is 100% owned by Telenor ASA and adds on to its operations in Asia together with Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh.

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