Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) is a worldwide common mobile communication standard, used by authorities and organizations with security tasks. Previous studies reported on health effects of TETRA, with focus on the specific pulse frequency of 17.64 Hz, which affects calcium efflux in neuronal cells. Likewise among others, it was reported that TETRA affects heart rate variability, neurophysiology and leads to headaches. In contrast, other studies conclude that TETRA does not affect calcium efflux of cells and has no effect on people's health.
In the present study we examine whether TETRA short- and long-term exposure could affect the electrophysiology of neuronal in vitro networks. Experiments were performed with a carrier frequency of 395 MHz, a pulse frequency of 17.64 Hz and a differential quaternary phase-shift keying (π/4 DQPSK) modulation. Specific absorption rates (SAR) of 1.17 W/kg and 2.21 W/kg were applied.
In conclusion, the present results do not indicate any effect of TETRA exposure on electrophysiology of neuronal in vitro networks, neither for short-term nor long-term exposure. This applies to the examined parameters spike rate, burst rate, burst duration and network synchrony.