Radio-frequency exposure tests have revealed that cell sites in Auckland and Queenstown are operating well within safety limits and 5G only contributed a small increase on top of current services.
Exposures during a download speed tests in February and March were "well below" the limit allowed for the public in the New Zealand RF field exposure standard, and would continue to be so if all transmitters currently installed at the Vodafone site were to operate at their maximum power, a report from EMF Services commissioned by the Ministry of Health found.
The location with the highest level of exposures was equivalent to 4.7 per cent of the public limit in the standard, or twenty times lower.
Most of this was due to Vodafone 2G, 3G and 4G transmitters and the rest, about one seventh of the total, due to 5G transmitters.
Measurements made during a downlaod speed test showed exposure from the 5G transmitters was typically no more than one tenth of the total exposure from the site.
"These results give a picture of exposures found with the current deployment of 5G technology," EMF Services report said.
The cell sites were equipped with passive antennas, not beam-forming antennas that form more tightly focussed radio beams directed towards individual users.
Therefore, results obtained in the future with beam-forming antennas could be different, the report said.
Measurements were made on a total of seven sectors at five different sites. All the sites also had 2G, 3G and 4G transmitters.
"There was a direct line of sight to the antenna at all measurement locations, and measurements were made in directions very close to the main beam azimuths."
The measurement probe was mounted on an insulated stand at a height of 1.5 metres above the ground.