Radio Frequency Resource Center | Itron

Radio Frequency Resource Center

About Radio Frequency

RF energy is all around us. It plays a critical role in the communications systems that we depend on every day, such as police and fire radio systems, radio and television broadcasts and cellular telephones. Many of the conveniences we've grown accustom to in our homes, such as cordless phones and wireless internet (WiFi), utilize radio frequency.

Itron's products are stringently evaluated for RF safety and meet all the standards. We consistently evaluate key factors for exposure risk including the frequency of the transmission, the power output, and the distance from the public.

According to several reputable organizations, including the Electric Power Research Institute and Utilities Telecom Council, there is no demonstrated cause and effect relationship between low levels of RF exposure and adverse human health effects. Itron recognizes that concerns about RF emissions exist. As such, we continue to monitor the regulations and perform extensive RF testing to actively minimize RF emission levels by all means possible.


RF FAQs

Radio Frequency FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) are available below.

Q: What is radio frequency (RF)? How is it measured?

A: Electromagnetic fields, radio waves, microwaves and wireless signals are collectively referred to as radio frequency (RF) energy. RF energy is all around us. It's used in various electronics and appliances, including radio and television broadcasting, cellular telephones, satellite communications, microwave ovens, radars, and industrial heaters and sealers, to name a few.

Electromagnetic waves are measured by wavelength and frequency. Wavelength is the distance covered by one complete cycle of the electromagnetic wave. Frequency is the number of electromagnetic waves in one second, also known as a hertz or Hz. One Hz equals one cycle per second. One megahertz (MHz) equals one million cycles per second. Generally, microwaves are radio frequencies measuring more than 1 GHz.


Q: Is there a health hazard associated with radio frequency?

A: According to several reputable organizations, including the World Health Organization and Utilities Telecom Council, there is no demonstrated cause and effect relationship between low levels of RF exposure and adverse human health effects. Itron recognizes that concerns about RF emissions exist. As such, we continue to monitor the regulations and perform extensive RF testing to actively minimize RF emission levels by all means possible.

The World Health Organization (WHO) notes in its Fact Sheet 304:

"To date, the only health effect from RF fields identified in scientific reviews has been related to an increase in body temperature (> 1 °C) from exposure at very high field intensity found only in certain industrial facilities, such as RF heaters. The levels of RF exposure from base stations and wireless networks are so low that the temperature increases are insignificant and do not affect human health."

See the WHO Fact Sheet 304 for more information about radio fields.

According to the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), Acute and long-term effects of RF EMF exposure below the thermal threshold have been studied extensively without demonstrating adverse health effects. A considerable amount of research has been conducted on the relationship between RF EMFs and health outcomes such as headaches, concentration difficulty, sleep quality, cognitive function, cardiovascular effects, etc. This research has not shown any such health effects. The only consistently observed finding is a small effect on brain activity measured by electroencephalography (EEG). The biological implication of these small changes is, however, unclear. For example, they have not been shown to affect sleep quality or be associated with any other adverse effects.

See additional ICNIRP resources for more information.


Q: How is Itron addressing the issue of RF Safety?

A: Itron consistently evaluates key factors for exposure risk including the frequency of the emission, the power output, and the distance from the public. Specifically, our devices have limited airtime, low power and limited human exposure.

Limited time on the air: Our endpoint devices transmit for very short intervals spread throughout the day and thus have a very small duty cycle. This results in RF energy levels that are a fraction of the exposure limits specified by regulatory bodies.

Low power: Our endpoint devices are extremely low power; less than one watt. These low levels of RF exposure are insignificant, generating far less RF energy than a cellular network.

Limited proximity to humans: Our devices are typically installed outside the home; compare that to a cell phone, which is held directly to the side of the head.


Q: Will an Itron IoT device interfere with a security system, pacemaker, cell phone or other RF devices?

A: Itron's IoT devices operate in compliance with regulations that require coexistence with other RF devices operating in the same frequency band. The low-power design and frequency hopping techniques of Itron's devices help reduce the probability of interference with other wireless devices. Based on standards and regulations, Itron believes that the likelihood of interference between our meters and other RF devices is extremely low.

1FCC Office of Engineering & Technology Bulletin 56: "Questions and Answers About Biological Effects and Potential Hazards of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields" (Fourth Edition, August 1999)


RF Resources

Radio frequency resources are many and varied. Please click the link below to our see comprehensive list.

Industry Studies and Reports:


Regulatory and Other Agency Reports:


Itron Resources: