Glossary

The following terms and abbreviations are used throughout this site and therefore you may refer to the following explanation of the definitions:

Base station

Is a radio transmitter and receiver which is utilized for the transmitting and the receiving of voice and data to and from mobile phones in a particular cell.

Cell

Is the geographic area covered by a particular base station.

Electromagnetic spectrum

The complete range of stored or propagating electric and magnetic field energies. The lower part of the spectrum is known as non-ionising energy and includes power line frequencies, radio frequencies, infrared, visible light and ultra violet. The upper part of the spectrum is known as ionising energy and includes x-rays and gamma rays.

EMF or electromagnetic fields or electromagnetic waves

Emitted by many natural and man-made sources. Used to transmit and receive signals from mobile phones and base stations.

Emission

Are the fields generated from a radio frequency source.

Frequency

The number of times per second at which an electromagnetic wave oscillates. Determines the wave's properties and usage.

Gamma Ray

A discrete quantity of electromagnetic energy without mass or charge. Emitted by a radionuclide. See x-ray.

Hz; kHz; MHz; GHz

Hertz - unit of measurement for frequencies; one thousand Hz; one million Hz; one billion Hz.

ICNIRP

International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, an independent scientific body that has produced an international set of guidelines for public and occupational exposure to radio frequency fields. ICNIRP's guidelines have been adopted by many countries worldwide. See www.icnirp.de.

Ionising fields

Ionising fields can be described in a number of ways - the simplest being that it consists of Gamma Rays , X-Rays , Alpha & Beta particles and other heavy Ions which have sufficient energy to cause ionisation in materials through which they interact.

MMF

The Mobile Manufacturers Forum, an international association of radio communications equipment manufacturers - www.mmfai.org

Network operator

Company with a license to provide wireless telephony services.

Occupational exposure

Exposure to electromagnetic fields during work that are experiences by people having appropriate knowledge about EMF.

Non-ionising fields

Non-ionising fields do not have the ability to Ionise matter it interacts with. Examples include radiowaves and microwaves.

Radiation

The process of emitting energy as waves or particles. The energy thus radiated. Frequently used for ionising radiation except when it is necessary to avoid confusion with non-ionising radiation.

RF or radio frequency

That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between about 3kHz and 300GHz that is generally used for communications purposes, including broadcast radio and television and mobile communications.

SAR

Specific Absorption Rate, a measure of the amount of RF power absorbed. The units are watts per kilogram.

SMS

Short Message Service: available on digital GSM networks allowing text messages of up to 160 characters to be sent and received via the network operator's message center to your mobile phone, or from the Internet, using a so-called "SMS gateway" website. If the phone is powered off or out of range, messages are stored in the network and are delivered at the next opportunity.

Ultraviolet radiation

Electromagnetic radiation found between x-rays and light in the electromagnetic spectrum. Has subregions UVA, UVB, UVC.

Xray

A discrete quantity of electromagnetic energy without mass or charge. Emitted by an x-ray machine. See gamma ray.

WHO

World Health Organization, the United Nations' specialised agency for health. In 1996, the WHO established the International EMF Project to assess the scientific evidence of possible health effects of EMF in the frequency range from 0Hz to 300GHz. See www.who.int/peh-emf/en/