Electromagnetic Fields

In the wake of increasing data traffic, further expansion of mobile communication networks is indispensable. The link between electromagnetic fields (EMF) generated by mobile communication and people’s health is still being addressed and discussed in the media and public. Telekom Austria Group employs several EMF teams that deal with the concerns and fears associated with electromagnetic fields. They inform people on topics such as mobile communication, health and safety and actively liaise with municipalities, local industry associations and advocacy groups. Through strong communication, the Group contributes to informing people about mobile communication and assures its network expansion goes as smoothly as possible.

The EMF teams at Telekom Austria Group’s subsidiaries, among others, make sure that national and international regulations on health and safety regarding electromagnetic fields are observed. Trans-national exchange is assured by means of regular contact and work meetings. Austrian subsidiary A1 also performs regular free measurements, liaises with all participants and provides informational material.
Brochures and further information in the respective country’s language are available on the websites of the respective subsidiaries.

Work safety measures

The protection of humans is a top priority for Telekom Austria Group: That's why the limit value recommendations of ICNIRP/WHO for base stations and mobile end user devices are not just complied with, but are kept well below those in daily use. Furthermore, the different national laws and regulations in Telekom Austria Group’s countries of operation are strictly adhered to.
Additionally, with its Group-wide EMF policy, Telekom Austria Group makes sure that all subsidiaries comply with the health and safety regulations regarding electromagnetic fields.
The EMF policy includes different areas such as infrastructure (base stations, mobile phones), different dialogue groups (employees, partners, suppliers and customers) as well as internal processes.
When it comes to the implementation of the EU Directive 2013/35/EU which defines minimum requirements for the protection of employees from electromagnetic fields, Telekom Austria Group has set respective industrial protection measures at a very early stage. Since limit values can be reached at mobile communication locations and in certain areas of transmitter stations, online training tools such as e-learning ensure that the Directive is adequately explained and understood.


Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) and Mobile Communication

Immission associated to electromagnetic fields means being exposed to radio waves in a certain place. Such exposure can be calculated precisely even before a transmission station is built.The planning, construction and operation of base stations (mobile communication facilities) are a significant foundation of Telekom Austria Group's business activities. All internationally applicable safety standards are thereby strictly complied with. Involving and informing the population on issues regarding mobile communication and health are thereby given highest priority.

Information on limit values, immission caused by mobile communication station and safe data transfer are presented in a transparent way in the framework of personal talks as well as in the form of informational brochures, simulations or via the Internet.

Dispersal Behaviour of Radio Waves
Dispersal Behaviour of Radio Waves

Radio propagation

Electromagnetic waves are used in many areas of daily life, such as medicine or for television and radio reception. So, we find radio waves almost everywhere, with varying effects depending on their frequency. High frequencies yield a minimal, barely measurable increase in the human body's temperature.

How Radio Waves affect the Organism
How Radio Waves affect the Organism

In the case of mobile communication, the energy released is so low that the increase in the human body's temperature is less than 0.1 degrees Celsius, even in the case of long mobile phone conversations. When doing sports, in comparison, the body's temperature rises by up to 2 degrees Celsius.

The World Health Organisation WHO’s amended fact sheet 193 explicitly states that there is no evidence proving that radio waves have any obvious harmful effects. Another reason for the confirmation of the current limit values is the 50-fold reduction factor included in the existing limit values.*

*WHO fact sheet no. 193, June 2014

WHO Limits
WHO Limits
Limit values for mobile phones

The independent international group of researchers ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) defines limit values taking into account the entire scientific state of knowledge regarding the effects of radio waves. The World Health Organisation (WHO), the European Union as well as numerous expert committees are based on these ICNIRP limit values.


The specific absorption rate SAR defines how much of the mobile phone's transmission performance is absorbed by the human body during phone conversations. The SAR limit value of 2 W/kg as defined by the limit value standard EN50360 ensures that one can be on the phone around the clock without having to fear any adverse effects to one's health. Only end user devices that comply with all applicable standards can be incorporated into Telekom Austria Group's product portfolio.


Der Schutz des Menschen hat für die Telekom Austria Group absolute Priorität: Daher werden die Grenzwertempfehlungen der ICNIRP/WHO für Basisstationen und mobile Endgeräte nicht nur eingehalten, sondern im täglichen Betrieb bei Weitem unterschritten. Darüber hinaus werden die unterschiedlichen nationalen Gesetze und Richtlinien in den Ländern der Telekom Austria Group genau beachtet.
Eine gruppenweite EMF Policy stellt darüber hinaus sicher, dass alle Tochterunternehmen die Richtlinien zu Gesundheit und Sicherheit in Bezug auf elektromagnetische Felder einhalten.
Die EMF-Policy umfasst unterschiedliche Bereiche wie Infrastruktur (Basis-Stationen, Mobiltelefone), verschiedene Dialoggruppen (MitarbeiterInnen, PartnerInnen, LieferantInnen und KundInnen) sowie unternehmensinterne Prozesse.
Im Hinblick auf die Umsetzung der EU-Richtlinie 2013/35/EU, die Mindestanforderungen für den Schutz von ArbeiternehmerInnen vor elektromagnetischen Feldern vorsieht, hat die Telekom Austria Group schon frühzeitig entsprechende Arbeitsschutzmaßnahmen gesetzt. Da an Mobilfunk-Standorten und bestimmten Bereichen von Sendeanlagen Grenzwerte erreicht werden können, sorgen Online Schulungstools wie E-Learning dafür, dass die Richtlinie entsprechend erklärt und verstanden wird.



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Concrete targets, measures and results.

Sustainability Report 2015/16


Petra Gallaun

Irene Jakobi

Head of CSR
Telekom Austria Group & A1