47 CFR § 2.1091 - Radiofrequency radiation exposure evaluation: mobile devices.

§ 2.1091 Radiofrequency radiation exposure evaluation: mobile devices.
Link to an amendment published at 85 FR 18146, Apr. 1, 2020.
Link to a correction of the above amendment published at 85 FR 33578, June 2, 2020.

(a) Requirements of this section are a consequence of Commission responsibilities under the National Environmental Policy Act to evaluate the environmental significance of its actions. See subpart I of part 1 of this chapter, in particular § 1.1307(b).

(b) For purposes of this section, a mobile device is defined as a transmitting device designed to be used in other than fixed locations and to generally be used in such a way that a separation distance of at least 20 centimeters is normally maintained between the transmitter's radiating structure(s) and the body of the user or nearby persons. In this context, the term “fixed location” means that the device is physically secured at one location and is not able to be easily moved to another location. Transmitting devices designed to be used by consumers or workers that can be easily re-located, such as wireless devices associated with a personal computer, are considered to be mobile devices if they meet the 20 centimeter separation requirement.


(1) Mobile devices that operate in the Commercial Mobile Radio Services pursuant to part 20 of this chapter; the Cellular Radiotelephone Service pursuant to part 22 of this chapter; the Personal Communications Services pursuant to part 24 of this chapter; the Satellite Communications Services pursuant to part 25 of this chapter; the Miscellaneous Wireless Communications Services pursuant to part 27 of this chapter; the Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service pursuant to part 30 of this chapter; the Maritime Services (ship earth station devices only) pursuant to part 80 of this chapter; the Specialized Mobile Radio Service, and the 3650 MHz Wireless Broadband Service pursuant to part 90 of this chapter; the 76-81 GHz Band Radar Service pursuant to part 95 of this chapter; and the Citizens Broadband Radio Service pursuant to part 96 of this chapter are subject to routine environmental evaluation for RF exposure prior to equipment authorization or use if:

(i) They operate at frequencies of 1.5 GHz or below and their effective radiated power (ERP) is 1.5 watts or more, or

(ii) They operate at frequencies above 1.5 GHz and their ERP is 3 watts or more.

(2) Unlicensed personal communications service devices, unlicensed millimeter-wave devices, and unlicensed NII devices authorized under §§ 15.255(f), 15.257(g), 15.319(i), and 15.407(f) of this chapter are also subject to routine environmental evaluation for RF exposure prior to equipment authorization or use if their ERP is 3 watts or more or if they meet the definition of a portable device as specified in § 2.1093(b) requiring evaluation under the provisions of that section.

(3) All other mobile and unlicensed transmitting devices are categorically excluded from routine environmental evaluation for RF exposure prior to equipment authorization or use, except as specified in §§ 1.1307(c) and 1.1307(d) of this chapter.

(4) Applications for equipment authorization of mobile and unlicensed transmitting devices subject to routine environmental evaluation must contain a statement confirming compliance with the limits specified in paragraph (d) of this section. Technical information showing the basis for this statement must be submitted to the Commission upon request.

(d) The limits to be used for evaluation are specified in § 1.1310 of this chapter. All unlicensed personal communications service (PCS) devices and unlicensed NII devices shall be subject to the limits for general population/uncontrolled exposure.

(1) For purposes of analyzing mobile transmitting devices under the occupational/controlled criteria specified in § 1.1310 of this chapter, time-averaging provisions of the guidelines may be used in conjunction with typical maximum duty factors to determine maximum likely exposure levels.

(2) Time-averaging provisions may not be used in determining typical exposure levels for devices intended for use by consumers in general population/uncontrolled environments as defined in § 1.1310 of this chapter. However, “source-based” time-averaging based on an inherent property or duty-cycle of a device is allowed. An example of this is the determination of exposure from a device that uses digital technology such as a time-division multiple-access (TDMA) scheme for transmission of a signal. In general, maximum average power levels must be used to determine compliance.

(3) If appropriate, awareness of exposure from devices in this section can be accomplished by the use of visual advisories (such as labeling, embossing, or on an equivalent electronic display) and by providing users with information concerning minimum separation distances from radiating structures and proper installation of antennas.

(i) Visual advisories shall be legible and clearly visible to the user from the exterior of the device.

(ii) Visual advisories used on devices that are subject to occupational/controlled exposure limits must indicate that the device is for occupational use only, must refer the user to specific information on RF exposure, such as that provided in a user manual, and must note that the advisory and its information is required for FCC RF exposure compliance. Such instructional material must provide the user with information on how to use the device in order to ensure compliance with the occupational/controlled exposure limits.

(iii) A sample of the visual advisory, illustrating its location on the device, and any instructional material intended to accompany the device when marketed, shall be filed with the Commission along with the application for equipment authorization.

(iv) For occupational devices, details of any special training requirements pertinent to limiting RF exposure should also be submitted. Holders of grants for mobile devices to be used in occupational settings are encouraged, but not required, to coordinate with end-user organizations to ensure appropriate RF safety training.

(4) In some cases, e.g., modular or desktop transmitters, the potential conditions of use of a device may not allow easy classification of that device as either mobile or portable (also see § 2.1093). In such cases, applicants are responsible for determining minimum distances for compliance for the intended use and installation of the device based on evaluation of either specific absorption rate (SAR), field strength or power density, whichever is most appropriate.

[61 FR 41017, Aug. 7, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 4655, Jan. 31, 1997; 62 FR 9658, Mar. 3, 1997; 62 FR 47966, Sept. 12, 1997; 68 FR 38638, June 30, 2003; 69 FR 3264, Jan. 23, 2004; 70 FR 24725, May 11, 2005; 78 FR 21559, Apr. 11, 2013; 78 FR 29062, May 17, 2013; 78 FR 33651, June 4, 2013; 80 FR 36221, June 23, 2015; 81 FR 79936, Nov. 14, 2016; 82 FR 43870, Sept. 20, 2017; 84 FR 25689, June 4, 2019; 85 FR 38739, June 26, 2020]
Effective Date Note:
At 85 FR 18146, Apr. 1, 2020, § 2.1091 was amended by revising paragraphs (b) and (c), removing paragraph (d) introductory text, and revising paragraphs (d)(1) and (2). At 85 FR 33578, June 2, 2020, this revision was delayed indefinitely.