5G Technology is Coming
By Jerry Brownstein
From the first digital mobile phones in the 1990’s to our current standard of 4G (4th generation), the telecommunications industry has changed rapidly in just a few decades. Now we are poised to enter the fifth generation (5G), which promises internet speeds that are much faster than 4G – fast enough to download a full-length movie in a matter of seconds. More importantly, 5G will enable a new wave of connected devices with the potential to massively change the way we live our lives. Telecom companies are working at full speed to put up the millions of towers that will be necessary for the complete launch of 5G that is scheduled to begin in 2020.
It is already being tested in cities around the world – including here in Spain. Let’s have a look at what 5G is, what it can do, and its potential dangers to our health and well being.
The 2G phones of the 90’s brought us digital mobile communications for the first time, and later added SMS texting with limited internet and email. In 2004 we upgraded to 3G with better internet access, video calling, mobile apps, etc. This gradually became more efficient until 2009 when it was superseded by 4G and then 4G+ (in 2012) with all of the speed and amazing capabilities that we use on smartphones. 5G promises to take this much further by enabling what is called “The Internet of Things”. Very simply stated, this will mean that a very wide range of machines and objects will have the ability to transfer data to each other without any human contact or input. Smart cars, smart appliances, smart buildings, smart cities, etc., will all be connected, and interacting with each other on a level far greater than anything we have today. This form of Artificial Intelligence will have an ever increasing influence over our lives. The technology that 5G will employ is very different from what we have with 4G.
To achieve its incredible speed they will use what are called millimetre microwaves (MMW). These are high frequency signals that have a huge capacity, but their range is short, and they can be easily blocked by buildings, trees, etc.. To get around these problems 5G uses ‘small-cell antennas’, which must be deployed far more densely than 4G antennas. In built-up urban areas they will need roughly one antenna every 150 meters, and this means that the eventual worldwide coverage by 5G will require millions of these new antennas. Small-cell antennas will not be necessary in rural areas, but the majority of the world’s population lives in cities, and they will be constantly exposed to the radiation of MMW. No in-depth studies about how this will affect humans have been conducted, yet the roll-out continues unabated. Our governments and the telecom companies tell us that there are no significant health risks from this huge increase of electromagnetic waves (EMFs), but there is compelling evidence to the contrary.
The International EMF Scientist Appeal is a group of over 225 reputable scientists from 41 countries who have called for a halt to 5G deployment saying: “This is being done without regard to the growing body of scientific reports that show increasing rates of serious health risks that may be caused by exposure to EMF from wireless sources.” The scientists went on to say: “Numerous scientific publications have shown that EMF affects on living organisms can include increased cancer risk, genetic damage, changes to the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, and neurological disorders.” They also noted that EMF radiation dissipates with distance, meaning that sources which are close to you are far more dangerous than sources that are farther away. As noted above, the urban small cell antennas will be much closer to people than the current 4G antennas.
“Millions of urban 5G antennas Plus over 20,000 satellites”
The scope of these potential health problems goes beyond the millions of 5G cell towers that are being placed in urban areas. It is also planned that as many as 20,000 satellites will be put into orbit to broadcast 5G microwave frequencies to the Earth. To put this in perspective – the total number of satellites orbiting our planet at the moment is about 2,000, so it is projected that there will be ten times more 5G satellites than all others combined. Their goal is to cover every square metre of the planet with microwave radiation. This radiation is similar to the waves used to cook food in a microwave oven, and when you are exposed to it, over 90% of the radiation is absorbed by your skin. The US Department of Defence already has a weapon called the Active Denial System, that uses MMWs to disperse crowds by making people’s skin feel like it is on fire.
In addition to the potential health concerns there are also dangers to our privacy and freedom. Governments and tech companies are selling the concept of 5G to the public as a major enhancement for video streaming of entertainment, but it will also create a system that could enable central control over every aspect of human life.
As mentioned before, 5G will exponentially expand the “Internet of Things” so that much more of what we do will be controlled by computers with no human input. It is not hard to imagine that this will lead to a world where faceless, soulless machines assume an ever-greater presence in our lives. There are also security concerns as the internet of things will connect billions of devices to the internet using trillions of data points – all of which will need to be secured. This will make it easier for hackers to steal your information, but hackers will not be the greatest problem. Invasion of privacy by corporations and governments will be pervasive, as they will have access to all of your personal data – to sell it or use it to control you.
“The “Internet of Things” gives computers more control over our lives”
In this regard it is important to consider that the demand for 5G did not come from consumers. Most people are quite happy with their phones the way they are. Sure we would all like a bit more speed for streaming, but it is rare for anyone to use more than a small percentage of the apps that are already at our disposal. It seems absurd to think that we need this massive new infrastructure when incremental improvements to the existing system would be perfectly sufficient. So what is driving this tsunami of “progress”? The push for 5G came from two sources that thrive on controlling your data: mega-corporations and the governments that are in thrall to these companies.
To those who value their privacy, 5G is not a vision of something better, but an omen of something much worse. Is faster always better? Think about it...