Despite all the protests from campaigners and scientists alike, 5G (or fifth generation) wireless network technology is arriving. In America, companies like T-mobile are busy hooking up America, while in Britain, Three, EE and Vodaphone have launched 5G, and the plan is for there to be blanket coverage by 2022.
Despite that soothing name of 5G, which stands for ‘fifth generation’ wireless technology, as though it’s a subtle improvement on our existing technology, this is not a simple next stage.
As Dr. Joseph Mercola, who is launching a forthcoming book about it (EMF*KED) put it, “The difference between 4G and 5G is the equivalent of the difference between a mountain stream of EMF exposure and a vast ocean of it.”
A more powerful frequency
True 5G is completely different from the current electromagnetic frequencies used to power up 3G and 4G networks. Current technology makes use of radio waves that are 6GHz or lower. Planned 5G will employ far higher bandwidths of between 24 and 28 GHz, and eventually 30 GHz, too.
These frequencies are far shorter than the ones used now – and are measured in millimetres, rather than the centimeters of our existing technology.
These millimetre wave (MMW) frequencies, where radio waves are less than 10 mm, have far more bandwidth than those used for current technology and so can carry a great deal more information, enabling data to be transmitted far more quickly, in larger amounts and with shorter waiting times than currently.
What this means of course, is that hundreds of thousands of smart phones and smart meters in any particular geographical area will be able to transmit and receive data at the same time with no lag time.
So far, so good. The problem is that these short waves, which can be easily blocked by walls, buildings trees and even rain or humidity, require far more antennas than currently to provide reliable and unbroken service. “Not just a few more,” says Mercola, “but literally billions of additional antennas compared to the 300,000 cellular towers that exist today.”
He estimates that instead of spacing cell towers a few miles apart, as we do currently, we’ll need small cell stations around every 300 feet in any given town – on top of lampposts, utility poles, buildings bus stops – to offer adequate coverage for every three to 10 houses. And each small cell could hold about 100 antennas, compared to the 12 or so antennas of existing cell towers.
These new antennas will employ 4G transmitters to locate any mobile devices in the area and the 5G antennas to transmit information at high speed, which is why the idea is so seductive.
A movie that takes you 10 minutes to download now will take a second with 5G. The new technology will enable the fabled Internet of Things, so that smart appliances in the home, in hospitals, the street, at work can monitor themselves and report on their need for new supplies.
Mercola quotes US Federal Communication Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler describing that ‘if something can be connected, it will be connected in the 5G world,” everything “from pill bottles to plant waterers. . . . .”
What this means, of course, is that small cell masts will be erected near or outside your home, your office and your children’s schools – even in outer space with some 50,000 satellites beaming back to Earth. And this new technology doesn’t replace the vast web of radiation you are already exposed to; it just adds massively to it.
Although radiation isn’t constant with 5G, as it is with 4G, when a mobile device initiates contact (as it does when you need to make a phone call, say) that signal will be powerful and highly focused. Even if you aren’t making a phone call or accessing material on your computer, your smart phone – even your light bulbs – may be hooked into the system and MMW beaming into your house most of the time.
Massive health implications
The health implications of this giant uncontrolled experiment, which has scientists, as well as the public, worried are unquestionable. Studies on animals (which may not apply to humans) show that MMW waves cause eye problems such cataracts and other eye damage, heart rate changes, alterations in the function of cellular membranes, suppression of immune function, and much more.
A group of 230 scientists from around the world, who have named themselves the ‘5G Appeal,’ claims that the electromagnetic fields generated by 5G can increase the risk of cancer, affect fertility, and cause neurological disorders, such as learning and memory problems, and even Alzheimer's disease.
They are demanding that the European Union halt development of 5G until independent studies can be carried out, and they’ve appealed to organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) to "exert strong leadership” in developing protective guidelines.
In the absence of this kind of protection, Mercola suggests plenty of simple methods and devices to help you minimize your exposure to this EMF soup, particularly once 5G is in play.
Using plug in modems and routers, turning your phone to airplane mode, switching to air-tube earphones, purchasing Faraday devices for your phone and smart meter – in other words, turning off your devices’ ability to connect whenever you can – can all go a long way to keeping you safe.
The Internet of Things will create an extraordinary technological revolution. But all of we humans need to make sure that it’s not at our expense.