In this study, the total electromagnetic dose, i.e., the combined dose from fixed antennas and mobile devices, was estimated for a number of hypothetical network topologies for implementation in Switzerland to support the deployment of fifth generation (5G) mobile communication systems while maintaining exposure guidelines for public safety. In this study, we consider frequency range 1 (FR1) and various user scenarios. The estimated dose in hypothetical 5G networks was extrapolated from measurements in one of the Swiss 4G networks and by means of Monte Carlo analysis. The results show that the peak dose is always dominated by an individual’s mobile phone and, in the case of non-users, by the bystanders’ mobile phones. The reduction in cell size and the separation of indoor and outdoor coverage can substantially reduce the total dose by >10 dB. The introduction of higher frequencies in 5G mobile networks, e.g., 3.6 GHz, reduces the specific absorption rate (SAR) in the entire brain by an average of −8 dB, while the SAR in the superficial tissues of the brain remains locally constant, i.e., within ±3 dB. Data from real networks with multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) were not available; the effect of adaptive beam-forming antennas on the dose will need to be quantitatively revisited when 5G networks are fully established.
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