Electromagnetic fields (EMF) occur in nature and thus have always been present on earth. The introduction of technologies have brought along the introduction of man-made sources of EMF. With the advent of wireless communications, exposure to EMF is ever increasing. Everyone is exposed to a complex mix of electric and magnetic fields at many different frequencies both at home and at work.

Under section 18(1)(n) of the ICT Act 2001 (as amended), the ICT Authority has the function to “ensure the safety and quality of every information and communication services including telecommunication service and, for that purpose, determine technical standards for telecommunication network, the connection of customer equipment to telecommunication networks”

In order to fulfil the above statutory function, the Authority carries out the evaluation of radio communication installations. The results of these evaluations are compared with safety limits recognized by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In accordance with ITU-T Recommendations and international best practices, the Authority currently applies the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) limits as the reference levels in its evaluation process. In March 2020, the 1998 ICNIRP guidelines were updated, which cover all frequencies used for mobile communications, including 5G.

The Authority issued, on 23 March 2011,a Deployment of Radiocommunication Infrastructure Technical and Administrative Standard for Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Safety, referred to as the EMF Standard, for the purpose of evaluating general public exposure to non-ionising electromagnetic fields (EMF). After consultation with relevant stakeholders, a revised EMF Standard has been published on 12 May 2021. The procedures described in the document are being used by operators for verifying the compliance of radio emission levels from their radio communication base stations against reference levels set by the ICNIRP and registering their installations with the ICTA.

Since 2012, the Authority has also adopted an in-situ measurement protocol to evaluate installations which are already in place by way of in-situ measurements.

The Authority has, in October 2020, launched an Online EMF Portal for mobile operators to register their base station installations, and issued relevant Guidelines to facilitate same.


  1. Revised Deployment of Radiocommunication Infrastructure Technical and Administrative Standard for Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Safety 

2. In-situ measurement protocol 

3. Guide on electromagnetic fields and health 

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