5G stands for the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies supporting cellular data networks.
It offers huge improvement in speed and network performance.
The last major network upgrade was 4G (2009) with a peak speed of about 100 Mbps.
In comparison, 5G is can deliver peak speeds between 10 and 20 Gbps.
The frequency spectrum of 5G is divided into millimeter waves, mid-band, and low-band.
- As of April 2019, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association had identified 224 operators in 88 countries that have demonstrated, are testing or trialling, or have been licensed to conduct field trials of 5G technologies, are deploying 5G networks or have announced service launches).
- The first fairly substantial deployments were in April 2019.
- By the middle of June 2019, South Korea had over one million 5G subscribers.
- China has launched its 5G national network and started commercial operation on 1 November 2019.
Tech companies are promising a lot from 5G suggesting it will be ideal for video game streaming, online video, connect sensors, computers, and other devices with ultra-low latency.
- How will the 5G network change the world?
- What Is 5G, and How Fast Will It Be?
- How Worried Should You Be About the Health Risks of 5G?
5G Concerns and Opposition
The scientific consensus is that 5G technology is safe
Dr. Steve Novella, an assistant professor of neurology at Yale and the editor of Science-Based Medicine, understands that people generally get concerned about radiation.
“Using the term radiation is misleading because people think of nuclear weapons—they think of ionizing radiation that absolutely can cause damage. It can kill cells. It can cause DNA mutations.” But since non-ionizing radiation doesn’t cause DNA damage or tissue damage, Novella says that most concern about cell phone RFR is misplaced. “There’s no known mechanism for most forms of non-ionizing radiation to even have a biological effect,” he says.
Misunderstanding of 5G technology has given rise to conspiracy theories claiming it has an adverse effect on human health
The gist: 5G is a dangerous escalation of traditional cellular technology, one packed with higher energy radiation that delivers potential damaging effects on human beings. Some 5G conspiracy theorists contend that the new network generates radiofrequency radiation that can damage DNA and lead to cancer; cause oxidative damage that can cause premature aging; disrupt cell metabolism; and potentially lead to other diseases through the generation of stress proteins. Some articles cite research studies and opinions by reputable organizations like the World Health Organization. With the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, a number of viral social media conspiracy theories have speculated that 5G is the cause of the world’s current problems. Simply put, these claims are factually false.
At the root of all concerns about cell phone networks is radiofrequency radiation (RFR). RFR is anything emitted in the electromagnetic spectrum, from microwaves to x-rays to radio waves to light from your monitor or light from the sun. Clearly, RFR isn’t inherently dangerous, so the problem becomes discovering under what circumstances it might be.
Scientists say that the most important criterion about whether any particular RFR is dangerous is whether it falls into the category of ionizing or non-ionizing radiation ( any radiation that’s non-ionizing is too weak to break chemical bonds. That includes ultraviolet, visible light, infrared, and everything with a lower frequency, like radio waves. Everyday technologies like power lines, FM radio, and Wi-Fi also fall into this range. (Microwaves are the lone exception: non-ionizing but able to damage tissue, they’re precisely and intentionally tuned to resonate with water molecules.) Frequencies above UV, like x-rays and gamma rays, are ionizing. [ Read more >> ]
Calls for investigating 5G potential hazards for human health
An international appeal to the European Union made on September 13, 2017 garnered over 180 signatures from scientists representing 35 countries.
They cite unproven concerns over the 10 to 20 billion connections to the 5G network and the subsequent increase in RF-EMF exposure affecting the global populace constantly.
A further letter by many of the same scientists was written in January 2019, demanding a moratorium on 5G coverage in Europe until potential hazards for human health have been fully investigated.
In April 2019, the city of Brussels in Belgium blocked a 5G trial because of radiation laws. In Geneva, Switzerland, a planned upgrade to 5G was stopped for the same reason.
The Swiss Telecommunications Association (ASUT) has said that studies have been unable to show that 5G frequencies have any health impact.
According to CNET, “Members of Parliament in the Netherlands are also calling on the government to take a closer look at 5G. Several leaders in Congress have written to the Federal Communications Commission expressing concern about potential health risks.
There have been a number of concerns over the spread of disinformation in the media and online regarding the potential health effects of 5G technology. Writing in The New York Times in 2019, William Broad reported that RT America began airing programming linking 5G to harmful health effects which “lack scientific support”, such as “brain cancer, infertility, autism, heart tumors, and Alzheimer’s disease”. Broad asserted that the claims had increased. RT America had run seven programs on this theme by mid-April 2019 but only one in the whole of 2018. The network’s coverage had spread to hundreds of blogs and websites.
During the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic, several conspiracy theories circulating online posited a link between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and 5G. This has led to arson attacks being made on telecom masts in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, etc.), Ireland (Belfast), Cyprus, Scotland, Wales, England (Dagenham, Huddersfield, Birmingham and Liverpool), Belgium (Pelt),Italy(Maddaloni) and Croatia (Bibinje). [ Source: Wikipedia ]
PS The truth about mobile phone and wireless radiation — Dr Devra Davis
A warning from Dec 2015
The allegations came against the backdrop of the rising prominence of Chinese telecommunication vendors Huawei and ZTE in the 5G equipment market, and the controversy has led to other countries debating whether Chinese vendors should be allowed to participate in 5G deployments; Australia formally barred Chinese companies from providing its 5G equipment due to security concerns, while Japan has heavily discouraged use of Chinese equipment. [ Further information: Concerns over Chinese involvement in 5G wireless networks ]
Due to fears of potential espionage of users of Chinese equipment vendors, several countries (including the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom as of early 2019) have taken actions to restrict or eliminate the use of Chinese equipment in their respective 5G networks. Chinese vendors and the Chinese government have denied these claims.
Note 1: Perhaps these are the reasons why US pushing tech and telecom industries to build 5G alternative to Huawei
A report published by the European Commission and European Agency for Cybersecurity details the security issues surrounding 5G while trying to avoid mentioning Huawei.
The report warns against using a single supplier for a carrier’s 5G infrastructure, specially those based outside the European Union. (Nokia and Ericsson are the only European manufacturers of 5G equipment.)
It has been alleged that the United States via the FBI, the UK via GCHQ and other intelligence agencies have sought to adjust 5G standards through 3GPP in order to allow as much metadata as possible to be collected for mass surveillance purposes.
On October 18, 2018, a team of researchers from ETH Zurich, the University of Lorraine and the University of Dundee released a paper entitled, “A Formal Analysis of 5G Authentication”. It alerted that 5G technology could open ground for a new era of security threats. The paper described the technology as “immature and insufficiently tested,” the one that “enables the movement and access of vastly higher quantities of data, and thus broadens attack surfaces”. Simultaneously, network security companies such as Fortinet, Arbor Networks, A10 Networks, and Voxility advised on personalized and mixed security deployments against massive DDoS attacks foreseen after 5G deployment.
IoT Analytics estimated an increase in the number of IoT devices*, enabled by 5G technology, from 7 billion in 2018 to 21.5 billion by 2025. This can raise the attack surface for these devices to a substantial scale, and the capacity for DDoS attacks, cryptojacking, and other cyberattacks could boost proportionally.
*The Internet of things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
Further information: Criticism of Huawei § Espionage and security concerns
[Source: Wikipedia ]
Concerns have been raised about the visual impact of 5G transmitters on historically and environmentally sensitive areas. In August 2019, a court in the United States decided that 5G technology will not be deployed without environmental impact and historic preservation reviews. [Source: Wikipedia ]
PS 2018 Electromagnetic Defense Task Force Report
This conference report is a product of the United States Air Force Air University and the Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education
The inaugural summit was attended by more than 135 military and civilian personnel representing more than 40 United States Department of Defense organizations, NATO, academia, and the private sector. During the summit, working groups focused on electromagnetic pulse (EMP), geomagnetic disturbance (GMD), lasers and optics, directed energy (DE), highpower microwaves (HPM), and EMS management.
The following are few quotes from the report
The electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) is a broad area of activity characterized by physically observable activities such as visible light and lasers and unobservable phenomena such as microwaves and electromagnetic energy. EMS manifests through various frequencies and wavelengths produced by natural sources like solar storms or artificially by hardware such as radar or nuclear weapons. EMS impacts every domain of warfare.
Communications and data and a myriad of essential military and economic functions—including precision navigation and timing and banking— are maintained in and through the EMS. The EMS may be described as a “Super Domain.”
While the only internationally recognized domains are land, sea, air, space, and cyber, electromagnetic activities operate in and through all domains regulating the most critical functions therein. EMS is arguably the one domain that can rule them all.
The full report is available on the website of the U.S. Department of Defense [ https://www.defense.gov/ ]
Directed Energy and High-powered Microwave Systems
While it is well known EMP, GMD, and other EMS phenomena do not directly cause harm to humans, some effects can be extremely dangerous and potentially deadly.
As events in Cuba and China demonstrated, personnel can become ill from EMS effects.
Although the nature of EMS activities that caused health issues for more than 20 diplomats is not entirely understood, what is well understood are the effects. In short, personnel at those locations are believed to have suffered traumatic brain injury (while in bed sleeping). As EMS technologies proliferate, EMS gray zone strategies that employ aggression to shape and influence the operations area will become more prolific.
In fact, due to the difficulties associated with determining where a given waveform originated, EMS may one day be preferable to kinetic weapons for those actors employing from the gray zone.
Subject Related link: More US diplomats evacuated from China after mysterious sickness spreads
A crisis over a mysterious ailment sickening US diplomats and their families – which began in Cuba and recently appeared in China – has widened as the State Department evacuated at least two more Americans from China. For months, US officials have been worried that their diplomats have been subjected to targeted attacks involving odd sounds, leading to symptoms similar to those “following concussion or minor traumatic brain injury,” the State Department says.
Strategic Threats Arising of Adversary 5G Networks
Competitor Control of All Digital Information
The development of 5G mobile technologies and networks represents a quantum leap in communications capabilities that is ready for robust deployment. Consequently, the development of 5G networks deserves unique consideration. At five-year intervals, mobile technologies undergo generational updates as capabilities incrementally improve. Previous generations of mobile technology were 4G, 3G, 2G (the first digital network), and 1G (an analog network).
5G is a boundary-crossing secure communications advancement with nearly unlimited bandwidth and almost no latency; in comparison to 4G, 5G may offer 10x faster downloads, 100x higher wireless transfer rates, and 100x lower latency.
5G applications are forecast to exceed $400 billion by 2022, with the construction and maintenance of a prospective US network resulting in 3 million jobs and a $500 billion increase in GDP.
Rapid creation of a global 5G network is also a cornerstone in China’s industrial plan to compete with Western interests by creating a “Digital Silk Road.” This integrated network of digital infrastructure or “spatial information corridor” will also promote the adoption of the Bei Dou navigation system (a Chinese alternative to GPS), according to the US Department of Commerce’s Office of Commercial Economic Analysis. Currently, China’s 5G plan is underwritten by half a trillion dollars in investment with a first-to-market goal to deploy 5G commercially by 2020. In total, China will put more than $10 trillion dollars to the One Belt One Road strategy, of which the Digital Silk Road is one of three components.
By 2035, 5G is expected to enable $12.3 trillion in global economic output. The states or non-states that control the 5G network will dictate or control all digital transactions including the ability to share and receive information. China’s control over the majority of hardware manufacturing needed to create 5G components and antennas (41 percent of the market and rising) is part of Beijing’s plan to deploy a network favorable to Chinese economic and security interests. Because control of 5G is roughly equivalent to control of the Internet, open 5G is critical to freedom and free-market economics. Meanwhile, access to the 5G-millimeter wave bandwidth will be critical to operations in all warfighting domains, in particular, space C2. EMS experts assess that 5G market share could be “locked-up” by US competitors in under three years with no second chances to enter the race. To slow peer progression and consolidation of market share, the president of the United States recently signed a Presidential Order to stop a corporate merger that would have further conceded 5G manufacturing capability to China.
As the 5G network becomes ubiquitous, there are opportunities to not only match but also ensure competitive advantages in EMS. As 5G matures, legacy technologies will give way to reliance on this integrated, consolidated, fast, secure, and low-latency system. But 5G should not be mistaken for the acme of EMS technology. In spite of the promise 5G holds from an economic and defense perspective, the United States and its allies should continue investing in the technologies that lie beyond. It is likely our competitors are already doing so. Moreover, it is probable that China will develop 5G as a dual use civil-military network and use the spin-off technologies to further expand its global sphere of influence. Therefore, new investment should match and surpass peer competitors working to develop technologies that could one day break society free of terrestrial networks
Competitor Control of All Digital Information
5G is a strategic-level communications capability that will likely be governed according to either Western or competitor interests. Looking forward, the US has an opportunity to move into position, ahead of competitors, by capturing market share. Robust US government support can help ensure the democratization of information and data in the information age. However, immediate action is needed to secure US and allied advantages. If the US supports the development of redundant terrestrial and spacebased 5G networks by forming partnerships with industry, reduces FCC and FAA impediments to rapid rollout and development of key enabling technologies, and incentivizes domestic manufacturing to help underpin component security, there is a significant opportunity to partner with our allies in the creation of global networks (like GPS) that are controlled and maintained by Western interests.
The full report is available on the website of the U.S. Department of Defense [ https://www.defense.gov/ ]