German firms pledge action on mobile phones

Trittin welcomes network operators' commitment, confirms abandonment of tougher limits

German mobile telephone network operators have offered new steps to assuage public concern over non-ionising radiation emitted by phones and transmitting masts. A draft commitment forwarded to the environment ministry last week includes pledges to communicate better with local authorities over planning decisions on new masts and to match already announced government health research funding of euros 8.5m.

The industry has been under growing pressure since winning licences to upgrade Germany's telecoms network to a new standard, which will involve building 30,000 new mobile phone masts. Its new commitment includes mandatory consultation with local authorities over the location of proposed new masts and special attention near schools or nurseries.

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