What is 5G and how does it work?
5G is the most advanced wireless technology in the world today. Its development began widely in 2019. It is the future of cellular technology for computers and the next generation of mobile phones. All major developers have explored the technology with various companies producing 5G enabled gadgets. With speeds between one and two gigabytes, this is the fastest network that has ever been developed. By 2020, its subscribers are expected to hit half a billion. In Asia alone, more than 200,000 base stations have been deployed and many more are in the pipeline. With prices as low as $500, more people are expected to embrace the technology.
5G networks send encoded data through radio waves. It uses a system of cell sites which divide their territory into multiple sectors. Whether by a wireless or wired connection, each of these cells is connected to a network base. The type of encoding this network uses is called Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM), a similar encoding to that of 4G LTE. This form of digital modulation reduces crosstalk and interference by separating single streams of data at different frequencies across multiple channels. The 4G network uses much smaller channels than the 5G does. Its radio system also uses 30% lesser speeds. Something that stands out with 5G is the much larger and clearer blocks it requires than any other network before. However, there are major concerns about the effects of this technology on both human beings and the global environment.
How does the 5G network affect our health?
Many studies are being carried out about the effect of the network on human health. Many topics have formed a basis for the discussion of human safety regulation. The main one is the absorption and impact of the 5G electromagnetic energy to the human tissue. The electromagnetic radiation from mobiles and other gadgets will cause a rise in temperature. This is the main biological effect. Critics say other effects of this network are cell metabolism disruption, premature aging caused by oxidative damage, DNA damage, and other diseases caused by stress protein generation.
Some experts believe there is a link between some types of cancer and long term exposure to electromagnetic radiation. There are also psychological effects caused by high-frequency transmission. The 5G network transmits data ten times more than previous wireless network technologies and 1000 times faster. Professionals say that the main risk of high frequencies is the outer organs of the body i.e., the eye and the skin, etc. rather than the brain. This is because the higher the frequency, the lesser its penetration into human tissues is.
How does 5G affect the environment?
Not long ago, there were reports that a test of the 5G network caused the death of many birds in the Netherlands. Though the news was classified as a hoax, researchers say the development of the network comes with environmental risks. 5G waves travel much lesser distances than 4G because of very high frequencies of about 30 GHz to 300 GHz. The network will, therefore, use a significantly high number of antennas which will have to be erected closer to each other. Though the antennas take up a fraction of the full cell towers, the question is, how will they affect the environment? A group of 215 scientists from over 40 countries around the world wrote to the United Nations requesting the regulation of Electromagnetic exposure to the environment. Research has shown that the global climate will be affected by the rise in temperatures in the future. It has also shown evidence of the harmful effects of high electromagnetic radiation on animals.
The 5G network also threatens cybersecurity. With more people and companies adopting innovation, they become more vulnerable. This is because more people are becoming wholly dependent on these networks. It not only causes theft and exposure of sensitive data, but it also prevents the detection of malicious activity.