In this paper, the existence of the interaction between the atmospheric particulate and the electromagnetic waves attenuation in the frequency band used by the 3G/4G mobile network was investigated. A few papers present in literature indicate, in presence of air pollution, the possibility of a significant cross polarization of the electromagnetic waves, while none of the papers indicated the possibility of a significant attenuation. This paper has tried to partially fill this gap of knowledge in this field with some new contributions. In all the experiments performed at the department of electrical, electronics and informatics engineering in the University of Catania (87 experiments each one lasting about 36 min), significant variations have not been found in the received signal level (RSL), while a polynomial dependency of the RSL local variance from the particulate concentration has been found. To demonstrate that the results obtained in the laboratory have general validity, a campaign test was conducted in an outdoors environment in the frequency band used by the 3G/4G mobile network. The site of the considered measurement station is selected to represent a typical residential area with high traffic influences in the city of Catania. Also, in this measures campaign conducted in the outdoors environment in the 3G/4G frequency band, significant variations have not been found in the RSL. While a marked dependence of the RSL local variance from the PM10 concentration has been found. This is a noteworthy result, because certain non-negligible RSL local variance variations indicate the possibility of a pronounced cross polarization. The impact of the cross polarization becomes significant for systems reusing frequency, because the cross polarization counteracts the optimum frequency spectrum utilization.
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