5G controversy: understanding the 5th generation cellular network

13th August 2019

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation cellular network technology which was rolled out across several countries this year, promising the fastest ever internet speeds. Since 1G was first developed in Japan, things have come a long way.

We can now do much more than make phone calls through a cellular network and 5G is thought to bring significantly faster data download and upload speeds. It is estimated to be 100 times faster than the current 4G, with wider coverage and more stable connections.

How does it work?

As with every generation of cellular technology, the 5G signal will be carried by radio waves, which travel between wireless devices and a mast. We’re surrounded by radio waves, or electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs), all the time, from phones and laptops to baby monitors and games consoles.

The difference with 5G to previous network technology is that the waves are a higher frequency, travelling shorter distances and requiring more masts or antennae, positioned closer to ground level. Because of higher frequency waves, some countries such as Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland are reluctant to roll out 5G and have stalled plans.

What are the concerns?

Concerns mount for 5G since research on the health effects of low level radiation is limited. In 2011, EMFs were been listed by the World Health Organisation as a class 2b carcinogen, ‘possibly carcinogenic’ but without conclusive evidence.

A group of 170 scientists from around the world appealed to the European Union last year for 5G technology to be blocked. Their reasoning was “growing concerns about the increase in radiofrequency radiation and the related health risks for European citizens.”

They referenced a study by the US National Toxicology Program, claiming it showed a statistically significant increase in the occurrence of brain and heart cancer in animals exposed to EMFs that were below the current guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

The ICNIRP is currently revising its radiofrequency guidelines, but has presented a draft of advice stating “the critical effect of high-frequency exposure relevant to human health and safety is heating of exposed tissue.” The EU responded to the appeal that, with independent guidance from the ICNIRP, there is not enough scientific justification to revise the roll out of 5G.

What happens now?

Many scientists believe the best way to protect ourselves from the unknown risks is to limit exposure as much as possible – the same advice given for 3G and 4G. Suggestions include restricting device usage to when necessary, cutting the length of phone calls, using speakerphone when possible and keeping phones out of pockets.

We created energydots because our digital landscape is a vast and growing one. Today, there are 7.6 billion people in the world, and it’s expected that by 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices. energydots provides a solution to some of the concerns surrounding EMFs.

The products have a range of benefits, including reduced thermal heating and improved blood oxygenation. Over the last 15 years, customers have reported better sleep, mood, concentration and overall energy levels along with reduced headaches, stress, anxiety and fatigue. 5G or no 5G, we’re aiming for a world of good energy.