A robust and safe network

Thanks to VodafoneZiggo, a large portion of Dutch society is able to rely on mobile telephony and internet. Technology that operates using electromagnetic fields. In order to guarantee both the quality and the security of the services we provide to our users, we get ‘everything from the mast’ within the standards. 

And whenever electromagnetic fields are involved, many different parties are watching us with great interest. The government – including the Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands (Agentschap Telecom) – the international ICNIRP, Vodafone Group and Liberty Global, Monet, the media and also the people of the Netherlands. That is fine, of course, because we too take the view that you can’t be too safe. We are happy to explain what there is to know about our transmission equipment. And what we are doing to guarantee security. 


Whenever you’re surfing wirelessly on the web, you’re actually surfing on radio waves. These take the form of the electromagnetic fields that we use in order to contact others using mobile phones or to connect via Wi-Fi. This takes place using antennas that are becoming more advanced all of the time. 5G is the latest innovation in this regards. We made the first preparations for this in 2021 and have made space for a new generation of digital possibilities. We also adhered and continue to adhere very closely to all of the safety standards governing electromagnetic fields.   


2G, 3G, 4G and 5G – extensive international research shows that the frequencies used for mobile telephony do not have any harmful effects on human health as long as exposure is kept within the limits set by the ICNIRP. The ‘International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection’  is an independent international group of scientists that sets exposure limits governing exposure to electromagnetic radiation. Along with the majority of countries in Europe, the Netherlands applies the exposure limits set by the ICNIRP. Following a thorough review, these were amended once again in 2021. Within the ICNIRP limits themselves, large safety margins were applied when determining the stated maximum exposure. All telecom providers, including VodafoneZiggo, are required to adhere to these ICNIRP standards and to the standards set by the government. But that’s just the beginning, because our own standards and performance are a whole lot higher. We have chosen to apply an additional level of safety.


When managing potential health and safety risks resulting from electromagnetic fields, we follow the Vodafone Group RF Management Policy Standard. This relates to the management, design, procurement and installation of radio base stations and smaller mobile antennas and terminals. The way in which we share the locations of our equipment with other mobile operators has been laid down in a policy agreed between the mobile operators themselves. Discussions are held on a regular basis between the operators and Monet concerning the state of affairs with regard to exposure to electromagnetic fields. The underlying purpose of our policies and discussions is centred upon the safety of the general public and the employees working in the vicinity of the antennas.  


We know that the levels of electromagnetic fields around our transmitters come nowhere near the limits set by the ICNIRP. In order to be certain, however, those levels are tested regularly by Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands throughout the country as a whole. The results of those tests confirm again and again that our levels lie far below the values specified in the ICNIRP standards. How much lower can hardly be expressed in terms of a percentage. 0.1 percent of the standard is already high.  


Providing network coverage for 70,000 people at short notice. The Formula 1 event at Zandvoort posed a major challenge for us, but just like Max Verstappen himself, we whizzed past the finish line with flying colours. Measurements by the Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands in and around the race circuit confirmed that we remained well below the exposure limits. 


The new 5G coverage will make use of the 3.5 GHz frequency band. This will be subject to the same exposure limits as the highest frequencies for current mobile use. That is why when the 3.5 GHz band comes into use, we are not expecting the ICNIRP standards to be exceeded, either by us or by any other operators on the market. At this point, it is useful to point out that we collaborate very closely with our competitors. That way, we can ensure that no exposure limits are exceeded, either by any operator individually or by all of the operators together.