Striving for secure mobile communications
We want to make our mobile communications infrastructure and our new products, as well as the processes on which they are based, as resource-efficient, secure and safe for health as possible. In Germany these activities are based in particular on voluntary commitments by mobile communications providers and an agreement with local authorities’ associations. Compliance with these voluntary commitments is reviewed every two years by external experts. In 2018 we once again submitted a current annual mobile communications expert report, coordinated by Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik (German Institute for Urban Studies), to the German Federal Government. According to the report, mobile communications expansion is progressing for the most part free of conflict. 95 percent of the municipalities surveyed said that they had had little or no controversial decision-making cases. The report was published by the German Federal Environment Ministry. What’s more, in collaboration with Telefónica, we also support the information portal www.informationszentrum-mobilfunk.de.
Our Group-wide EMF 2004, plays a pivotal role. The policy specifies standardized minimum requirements in the area of mobile communications and health, requirements that by far exceed those set forth by national laws. Our policy provides our national companies with a mandatory framework that makes sure that the topic of mobile communications and health is addressed in a consistent, responsible way throughout the Group. All of our national companies have officially accepted the EMF Policy and implemented most of the required measures.Policy, which we adopted in
Our EMF Policy stipulates the following principles and measures:
We place importance on discussing issues involved in mobile communications openly. We make all relevant information regarding our mobile communications equipment in Germany accessible to the public, e.g., on the EMF database operated by the German Federal Network Agency.
We provide consumer information that is easy to understand and pursue a fact-based, sound information policy. On our Group website we provide the latest information to those interested. We also provide our customers with information on the SAR levels of their devices. In addition, customers can get information on SAR levels at many of our shops, via our free environmental hotline or via e-mail.
We rely on close collaboration and constructive dialog with all those involved, including communities, when it comes to network expansion. Our goal is to find amicable solutions and negotiate acceptable compromises, which can only be achieved by responding fairly to critical arguments and being ready to learn from mistakes.
Promoting science & partnerships
Our guidelines call for promoting targeted research, scientific excellence, transparency, objectivity and intelligibility.
We conduct ongoing reviews of compliance with our EMF Policy. The findings are used to improve individual aspects and develop solutions in different working groups such as our EMF Core Team and the EMF Technical Working Group.
Evaluating and implementing the EMF Policy
We want to seamlessly implement our EMFPolicy throughout the Group. We help our national companies do this by providing specific tools. For example, we formulated standardized policies for funding research, for example, and published these on the Deutsche Telekom website. The national companies take these policies into account when formulating their own funding programs. We also rely on our national companies’ own initiative and encourage them to continue to improve their measures even after they have fully implemented the EMF Policy. The dialogue conducted by the Deutsche Telekom national companies with other network providers and with consumers, politicians and scientists plays a central role in this context.
Regular reviews show us that the EMF Policy is being implemented consistently in all of our action areas. We are also working on expanding our country-specific activities. In 2018 we proactively addressed 5G technology. This involved carrying out measurements at the first 5G sites in Berlin.
Deutsche Telekom is continuously building small cells, an innovative, high-performance mobile communications technology. These small cells add additional capacity to our mobile communications network in places with high traffic volumes. Small cells generally emit weaker electromagnetic fieldsthan traditional macrocells as they are used in mobile communications networks. Due to the small distance, the cell phone’s transmission power can be reduced with small cells. Because cell phone transmission levels are often the main source of electromagnetic fields in our immediate environment, reducing these is a particularly effective way to reduce EMF exposure.
We have already been working with the state capital of Munich since 2016 on developing small cell technology paying particular attention to environmental factors such as the propagation of electromagnetic fields. A pilot experiment in 2016 has since led to a continuous exchange on processes for the responsible and environmentally conscious development of mobile technology. For example, RWTH Aachen carried out a study in 2017 on practical methods that can be used to assess the effect of small cells on people and the environment. The results of the study were presented to the city of Munich.
In Austria, the citizens’ mobile communications forum gives interested citizens the opportunity to ask experts questions about mobile communications directly and online. The forum is an initiative sponsored by the industry association Forum Mobilkommunikation (FMK). Over time, it has grown into a knowledge platform containing answers to the most important questions regarding the topics of mobile communications technology and mobile communications and health.