AFNR RF exposure study shows small increase in radiation in France

France’s spectrum agency ANFR [1.] has released a study (in French) of radio frequency (RF) exposure measurements collected in the immediate vicinity of 1,000 town halls across France during 2020.  ANFR was requested by the Ministry of Ecological Transition (MTE) to renew the project to measure public exposure to electromagnetic waves over more than 1,000 town hall places. This campaign ran from March to December 2020 using the national monitoring of public exposure.

Note 1.  AFNR:

AFNR, France’s National frequency agency, is a public administrative establishment that was created by the French 26 July 1996 telecommunications regulation Act giving it the mission of managing the French radio spectrum

The establishment was born through the merger of two main missions:

1.  Inter-ministerial spectrum management, at the time within the remit of the Telecommunications Coordination committee and the Post and Telecommunications senior management;

2.  The management and control of independent radio networks previously within the remit of the French National Radiocommunications Department


All the results are available at This project of measurements follows on from the previous ones which were held in 2014 and 2017 in the same town hall squares. The cities were chosen during the first study for their representativeness of the French population.  The objective of those studies was to provide an indicator of average radiation exposure at national level. The objective of this study is to present the exposure levels obtained in 2020 and to analyze their evolution since 2014.

The results of the current campaign are directly comparable with those collected in the same 1,000 locations in 2014 and in 2017, in order to analyze the evolution of radiation over time. The latest report shows a small increase in the average RF measurement compared to the previous campaign (0.54 V/m from 0.46 V/m in 2017). This follows the slight uplift reported between 2014 and 2017 (from 0.38 V/m to 0.46 V/m).

Commenting on mobile-related radiation, the agency said that exposure linked to LTE had increased marginally, while exposure linked to 2G/3G had remained broadly stable. The study was carried out before the launch of 5G in France.

The study was released alongside two other publications, summarizing the results from other measurements carried out by ANFR teams in France. Overall, these teams collected 4,700 data points in 2020 as part of their ongoing monitoring work on radiation exposure.

Earlier this month, the agency released the findings from a recent project focused on the 26 GHz millimeter-wave (mmWave) band, collecting measurements during the 5G pilot carried out by Orange and railway company SNCF at the train station in the city of Rennes. The study found that the exposure values were significantly lower than the regulatory limit of 61 V/m set for the 26 GHz band. They ranged from 0.4 V/m to 3.2 V/m depending on the conditions of the tests, which included both realistic and extreme scenarios.

The agency has also recently published the results of nearly 300 measurements collected near Linky smart meters last year, detecting values well below the regulatory limit.



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