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Cellular Antenna Cuts RF Exposure To Users

Viera, Fla. — Cellphone makers won’t have to sacrifice signal strength to meet Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations limiting human exposure to RF emissions if embedded antenna technology from SkyCross works as promised.

The company’s isolated mode antenna technology (iMAT),coupled with beam-forming technology, reduces the power consumption and Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) levels of a wireless phone or other wireless device by half without reducing signal strength, the company claimed. The combined technologies will appear this year in cellphones and other devices, such as wireless modems, with some models perhaps making it to the U.S. this year as well, a spokesperson said.

SAR measures the rate at which the human body absorbs RF energy when exposed to an electromagnetic field.

Previously, cellphone makers typically reduced SAR levels by cutting transmitting power to meet U.S. and foreign RF-emission limits, in some cases reducing signal strength to levels that carriers wouldn’t accept, the company said. That technique also reduced a phone’s signal-to-noise ratio, which compares the strength of a desired signal to background-noise levels.

The FCC sets a safe SAR limit of 1.6 watts per kg (1.6 W/kg), averaged over 1 gram of tissue, according to the FCC Web site. Less-restrictive limits are specified by guidelines used in Europe and most other countries, the FCC said.

Despite the different limits, “there is no scientific evidence to date that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer or a variety of other health effects, including headaches, dizziness or memory loss,” the FCC’s site said. Government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to monitor research on these topics, the FCC added.

On its Web site, the FDA states that it can’t rule out the possibility of risk but that the risk is probably minimal: “If there is a risk from being exposed to RF from cellphones — and at this point we do not know that there is — it is probably very small.”