What is 5G Technology?

What is 5G technology?

Right in the middle of the COVID19 pandemic there was a strange theory suggesting that the rollout of 5G technology is the cause of the pandemic. The 5G Corona Virus conspiracy theory started in April 2020 and it was believed to begin in the UK, this coincides with a number of 5G masts being vandalised. Unfortunately, the misinformation does not benefit any one except for the culprit who wanted to misled the public for whatever reasons.

The 5G Corona Virus misinformation further complicates situations for medical practitioners who are already under a lot of stress managing their patient's health. At the same time, the misinformation somewhat discredit the genuine concern raised by the public on the potential health risks associated with the 5G technology, who is already a minority group and not taken seriously by most.

Introduction to 5G technology

5G is the 5th generation of cell phone networks being deployed in 2019. It is the latest global network after 4G that’s enabling a new type of network to connect everything and users wirelessly including devices, machines, and objects.

The main advantage of the new networks is that they will have greater bandwidth, giving higher download speeds, eventually up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbit/s).

At this speed we can download a High Definition (HD) movie within a few seconds. The increased speed is achieved partly by using higher-frequency radio waves than previous cellular networks. However, higher-frequency radio waves have a shorter useful physical range which means more 5G cell towers would be required.

It is estimated that 5G will require cell antennas every 100 to 200 meters (300 to 600 ft)

In short, 5G technology can let its users go beyond basic communication with mobile internet and cell phones. With 5G, it isn't just about communication between humans but also between devices, machines, and persons to the machine including applications like IoT, autonomous driving, smart homes, smart metering, intelligent power supply, smart farming, and much more than these. These applications are aimed at automating technologies in our daily lives at another level.

Where 5G is being used?

Frankly speaking, 5G technology is being used across different types of connected services. These include the massive IoT, mission-critical communications, and enhanced cell phone broadband. 5G’s defining capability is aimed for forwarding compatibility for the ability to support future services flexibly that are not available at present.

Enhanced Cell Phone Usage

Along with making smartphones faster, 5G technology is designed to usher in the latest immersive experience such as AR and VR with more uniform and faster data rates, lower per-bit cost, and lower latency. A recent survey done by a telecommucation company indicates that 20% of 5G users have decreased their usage of WIFI. There is an increase demand to make 5G available indoors. 5G coverage is placed as a higher priority than battery life or speed by most 5G users. 5G users are willing to spend more to get coverage.

Massive Internet of Things

5G is also meant to connect a huge number of embedded sensors seamlessly in everything, virtually via its ability to scale down in power rates, mobility, and data rates. Some examples: surveillance system, sensors, car automation, smart homes, smart energy, manufacturing, agriculture technology.  5G is also enabling new services that have the ability to transform industries with available, ultra-reliable, and low-latency links such as remote control of vehicles, medical procedures and critical infrastructure.

IS 5G DANGEROUS?

We don't know for sure. Many experts would say that there is no evidence telecommunication technologies such as 5G cause adverse health impacts. The opposite is also true, there is no evidence that 5G is safe. In fact, World Health Organization (WHO) - IARC classifies radiofrequency (30kHz to 300 GHz) as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Source .

Since the IARC evaluation in 2011 (1,2), the evidence on human cancer risks from RF radiation has been strengthened based on human cancer epidemiology reports (911), animal carcinogenicity studies (1214) and experimental findings on oxidative mechanisms (15) and genotoxicity (16). Therefore, the IARC Category should be upgraded from Group 2B to Group 1, a human carcinogen (17).

Most recently (2020 July) The Environment and Cancer Research Foundation (Sweden) publishes this paper "Health risks from radiofrequency radiation, including 5G, should be assessed by experts with no conflicts of interest". Source.

The deployment of the fifth generation, 5G, of RF radiation is a major concern in numerous countries, with groups of citizens trying to implement a moratorium until thorough research on adverse effects on human health and the environment has been performed.

An appeal for a moratorium, currently signed by >400 international scientists and medical doctors, was sent to the European Union (EU) in September 2017 (18), currently with no EU response (19). Several regions have implemented a moratorium on the deployment of 5G motivated by the lack of studies on health effects, for instance Geneva (20).

To date (2021 October) there are 418 scientists and doctors, recommend a moratorium (temporary halt) on the roll out of the 5G, until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry. More info

The 5G Appeal states that harmful effects or RF-EMF exposure are already proven with 230 scientists from more than 40 countries have expressed their serious concerns regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices already before the additional 5G roll-out. 

They refer to the fact that "numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines".

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In Summary - 5G technology

Even though there are various benefits of 5G technology in terms of connectivity, user experience, capacity, and communication. However, it is reasonable to believe that there will be higher EMF exposure due to more antennas installed at lower distances than previous technologies. When it comes to the health effects of 5G technology, there are only a few research results available in this regard, more particularly associated with 5G wireless radiation use.

In some countries 5G technology implementation is on halt due to lack of research evidences regarding its impact on health and environment. With ”the ever more extensive use of wireless technologies,” nobody can avoid to be exposed. Because on top of the increased number of 5G-transmitters (even within housing, shops and in hospitals) according to estimates, ”10 to 20 billion connections” (to refrigerators, washing machines, surveillance cameras, self-driving cars and buses, etc.) will be parts of the Internet of Things. All these together can cause a substantial increase in the total, long term RF-EMF exposure to all citizens.

Here is a genuine concern from one of our contacts in Melbourne, "My children's' child care now has a direct line of sight to a 5G cell tower. The distance is about 30 meters from the child care. How would this affect the children?"

We don't have a perfect solution for this. One thing we can do is to be informed and take a few practical steps to reduce the exposure to cell phone radiation:

1. Use cell phone with caution and make brief calls as necessary

2. Don't put cell phone in contact with your head.

3. Store your cell phone away from your body, pockets - keep distance

4. Use local map and find the nearest cell towers - keep distance or use shielding

5. Measure the radiofrequency level in your house and rearrange the furniture

6. Call an EMF specialist or building biologist for further assistance

7. Distance is your friend.

Take care