Dominance of Smartphone Exposure in 5G Mobile Networks

Luca Chiaraviglio, Chiara Lodovisi, Stefania Bartoletti, Ahmed Elzanaty, Mohamed-Slim Alouini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The deployment of 5G networks is sometimes questioned due to the impact of ElectroMagnetic Field (EMF) generated by Radio Base Station (RBS) on users. The goal of this work is to analyze such issue from a novel perspective, by comparing RBS EMF against exposure generated by 5G smartphones in commercial deployments. The measurement of exposure from 5G is hampered by several implementation aspects, such as dual connectivity between 4G and 5G, spectrum fragmentation, and carrier aggregation. To face such issues, we deploy a novel framework, called 5G-EA , tailored to the assessment of smartphone and RBS exposure through an innovative measurement algorithm, able to remotely control a programmable spectrum analyzer. Results, obtained in both outdoor and indoor locations, reveal that smartphone exposure (upon generation of uplink traffic) dominates over the RBS one. Moreover, Line-of-Sight locations experience a reduction of around one order of magnitude on the overall exposure compared to Non-Line-of-Sight ones. In addition, 5G exposure always represents a small share (up to 38%) compared to the total one radiated by the smartphone.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
StatePublished - Mar 6 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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