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Telephones, transmission masts and health

Always well
within the norm

New technology raises new questions. For example, about the effects of transmission masts and telephony on our health. According to many different studies, there is no reason for concern. KPN keeps track of developments in order to always stay well within the legal framework.

In order to offer mobile calls and internet, KPN, like other providers, has obtained licenses and frequencies from the Dutch government. Integral to this are the strict norms and regulations about exposure to electromagnetic fields – also called radiation. KPN always operates within the applicable radiation limits. In fact, we maintain a wider safety margin than is legally required: the exposure to radiation from our mobile phone masts is far less than the (inter)nationally applied thresholds.

Comprehensive network of antennas

In the Netherlands, there are more than 21 million mobile connections. This requires a comprehensive national network of base stations with antennas. When you call someone, the mobile phone sends a signal to a nearby base station, also called a transmission mast. Via the fixed network, this base station sends the signal to a base station near the person you are calling. The last stretch from the base station to the recipient is transmitted through the air. The signal travels through the air via radio waves, which consist of an electromagnetic field.

Regulations and research

We stick strictly to all the national and international norms and regulations relating to electromagnetic fields. Research conducted by the Agentschap Telecom (Dutch Radiocommunications Agency) shows that all field strengths near transmission masts remain within the currently applicable limits.

At the same time, mobile technology and research into its effects continues to develop. In the Netherlands, the Gezondheidsraad (Health Council), the Kennisplatform Elektromagnetische Velden (Knowledge Platform on Electromagnetic Fields and Health), the Agentschap Telecom (Radiocommunications Agency) and the Antennebureau (Antenna Bureau), among others, monitor the health effects of electromagnetic fields. KPN feels extremely responsible for any possible consequences of our network. That’s why we keep track of all relevant research, at home and abroad.

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Children and mobile phones

Young people are using mobile phones at an ever younger age. Consequently, parents often have questions about the effects of mobile devices on the health of their children. Current research shows that mobile phones do not have (increased) health risks. But because youngsters are making increasing use of mobile communication, and from a young age, the World Health Organization is prioritizing research among children of different ages. KPN is following this research closely.

More information

More information about electromagnetic fields (EMF) and possible health risks is available from one of the agencies below.

Gezondheidsraad (Health Council)

This organization is an independent scientific advisory body that makes recommendations to the government concerning public health and health (care) research, including on EMF and health. On the website you will find published advice and information about forthcoming recommendations.

To the website

Kennisplatform Elektromagnetische Velden (Knowledge Platform on Electromagnetic Fields and Health)

This platform was established by the Ministry of VROM (Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment) in 2007. It gathers knowledge about electromagnetic fields with the aim of explaining scientific information on the subject and making it available.

To the website

Agentschap Telecom (Radio Communications Agency)

This Agency is part of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and makes national and international agreements on the use of frequencies. The organization also monitors telecom operators’ compliance with these agreements.

To the website

Antennebureau (Antenna Bureau)

This is the government’s antenna agency. You can contact the Antenna Bureau for information about legislation concerning the placement of antennas and the applications for which antennas are used, and about EMF and health. The bureau frequently conducts research on radiation levels throughout the Netherlands. The reports are easy to view via an interactive map.

To the website


Monet is an association that liaises with government bodies and, when necessary, local residents, on behalf of the network operators KPN, T-Mobile, and Vodafone, regarding the placement of antennas. Monet also provides information on this topic. The Monet website has information about the use of mobile networks and antennas.

To the website

Limiting radiation

On the basis of scientific research, there is no evidence that electromagnetic fields are damaging to health. Should you, for whatever reason, want to limit your exposure to radiation, you can find a number of tips below. It is general information and not recommendations made by KPN or scientific organizations.

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