IoT-based Management and Monitoring System for 5G Electromagnetic Fields

With the introduction of 5G, global attention on electromagnetic field (EMF) safety has greatly increased. As such, the “IoT-based, unmanned remote EMF measuring equipment” has been developed steadily to measure EMF 24/7/365 while extending EMF measurement to the entire living environment. An “EMF monitoring system” has also been deployed to manage EMF in real time. In so doing, the system has contributed to the building of an EMF-free country while relieving public anxiety over EMF.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Global attention on EMF safety has increased further as diverse technologies utilizing radio waves have permeated into every aspect of daily life with the arrival of the Hyper-connected 5G era.

In particular, 5G frequencies have the property of strong straight motion and short reaching distance. Therefore, the related 5G mobile network requires five times more base stations than 4G (LTE). As the amount of EMF to which human beings are exposed has increased because the base stations are installed close to the ground, public concern over the harmfulness of EMF has increased, sparking controversy over the diseases caused by EMF.

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged in 2007 that EMF may cause leukaemia and announced in 2011 that mobile phone EMF is a Group 2B carcinogen, interest in the effects of EMF on the human body has increased in all countries.
With radio waves permeating into every area of our daily life, the targets of EMF management have increased significantly to densely populated areas (residential/office areas, etc.), public use facilities (subway stations, airports, etc.), and living environment facilities used by the vulnerable classes (schools, hospitals, etc.), as well as the areas surrounding mobile network base stations. Nonetheless, the shortage of specialist personnel and the high cost of measuring equipment (approx. USD 40,000 per unit) have emerged as obstacles to the spread of EMF management across the country.

To resolve this issue, the Korea Communications Agency (KCA) has explored items for improvement from the perspective of the general people as well as experts including university professors by organising the EMF Citizens' Group and KCA Innovation Team.

Using its EMF management know-how in collaboration with the EMF Advisory Committee composed of EMF specialists, KCA has ① developed the “IoT-based, Unmanned Remote EMF Measuring Equipment” for the first time in the world, ② deployed the “EMF Monitoring System” for the real-time management of EMF, ③ disclosed its EMF measurement data through its “EMF Safety Map,” and ④ operated the “EMF patrol car” in order to resolve EMF issues promptly.

① KCA has installed a compact (13cm), lightweight (200g), and inexpensive (USD300) “IoT-based, unmanned remote EMF measuring equipment“ - which it has developed by converging its source technology for EMF measurement with the manufacturing technologies of a small/medium enterprise (SME) - at key locations throughout the country.
② EMF data measured 24/7/365 are automatically transmitted through a mobile communication network and analyzed in real time by the “EMF monitoring system.“
③ EMF compliance information is disclosed in real time through a GIS-based “EMF Safety Map” (https://emf.kca.kr) that the public can understand easily.
④ The measured data are divided into Green Zone (14v/m or less), Yellow Zone (14~28v/m), and Red Zone (28v/m or higher) based on the limits of human exposure to EMF. When a Red Zone is reported, it can be promptly resolved by dispatching to the scene “EMF patrol cars” (mounted with EMF measurement and analysis equipment) that can precisely measure and analyze EMF again.

Before the introduction of this innovation, only one-time visit measurement was conducted selectively at base stations or in places where there was a request for measurement. As EMF is now being remotely measured in real time in multiple areas on a steady basis through the innovation of the EMF measurement and management scheme, the reliability of the measured data has been greatly enhanced. Since the efficiency of the EMF management service has increased by over 30 times, a safe environment free from EMF hazards has been established, allowing all citizens to live safely without the risk of EMF.

The results of a survey on the public awareness of EMF safety showed that public anxiety over EMF has been relieved considerably. The survey compared public concern before and after the innovative service, including EMF measurement and management 24/7/365, real-time disclosure of measured data, and speedy response system.
* Before the service: 40.6 points → After the service: 90.5 points (The closer it is to 100 points, the less the public anxiety over EMF)

In the pilot project, the service was provided to children’s day care centres and kindergartens because infants and children are more vulnerable to EMF. It is also currently being operated at airports and other public use facilities and will be gradually expanded to all living areas throughout the country.

Therefore, KCA wishes to contribute to the realisation of a safe, clean environment in the global community by sharing this case of innovation in the field of EMF measurement and management with the OECD. In addition, KCA is going to create new markets by applying EMF measuring equipment to diverse fields like fine dust measurement equipment, AI speakers, etc.

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Year: 2018
Level of government: Other

Status:

  • Implementation - making the innovation happen
  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed
  • Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways

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