Telstra loaded up a Gold Coast apartment with 58 connected devices, and some spectrum analyzers and teenagers, to test the amount of “electromagnetic energy (EME) in a very high-tech connected home.”
Principal of EME strategy, governance and risk management Mike Wood said in a blog post that even “maxing out” the devices resulted in EME levels “more than 10,000 times below the public safety limits”.
A technical report [pdf] on the test was also released.
The house was fitted out with “smart TVs, smart speakers, 5G phones, three HTC 5G wi-fi routers, gaming consoles, Google Home Mini smart speakers, Google Nest smart cameras, a smart doorbell, baby monitor, smart scales, smart lights, smart plugs, and a workstation with laptops, printer, wireless headsets, and a video camera,” Wood wrote.
“In total we safely configured 58 devices to operate in the apartment over 5G, 4G, and wi-fi,” he said.
“To measure the EME levels in the apartment we set up two fixed EME monitoring stations, one in the living and kitchen area, and the other in the media room.
“The monitoring devices we used continuously recorded the EME levels and we even used a third portable EME monitoring device to measure the EME on the balconies and other locations in the apartment.”
The EME testing was conducted using Narda SRM3006 frequency selective spectrum analyzers.
The connected devices were also separately lab tested by Telstra to see how they performed outside of the apartment.
Telstra said the apartment tests delivered 5G speeds “ranging from 300-500Mbps” but that even when all devices were “maxed out”, they produced only “similar 5G EME levels to a synthetic network test that we had previously performed, where we loaded the 5G network to near maximum capacity.”
“Our EME testing demonstrates that even under very high utilisation – with over 50 connected devices using 5G, 4G and Wi-Fi – the EME levels are very low and well below the EME safety limits,” Wood said.
“This should provide reassurance to families, particularly when everyone is at home working, schooling, entertaining and connecting online.”
Telstra has campaigned throughout the year to counter online claims about EME on 5G networks.
The telco has a history of using similar residential test setups to replicate in-home issues experienced by customers.