Is 5G Safe? Using Your Hype Detector to Get Answers

Is 5G Safe? The Question is Everywhere

(Photo Credit: 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project 2018)

Everywhere we look, including our inbox, people are asking “Is 5G Safe?”, because so much misinformation and misunderstanding about 5G abounds, and a lot of it is just plain hype. 5G is getting much more public attention than any of the cellphone generations that have been launched before this, and in the absence of fact any info makes press, and grist for the social media mill.

5G is a communication protocol not a special frequency. 5G devices will use all the spectrum areas used for 2G, 3G, and 4G plus some new frequencies below 6 GHz, and (speculatively) some up to 52.6 GHz.   Millimeter waves, massive MIMO, full duplex, beamforming, and small cells are just a few of the technologies that could be used to enable ultrafast 5G networks, and new Spectrum frequencies will not be opened up until all available technologies for existing frequencies have been re-designed to deliver more ‘packets’ of data, faster.

If you need a little refresher course on 5G and the multiple technologies and protocols currently being developed and tested in the process of eventual standardization, the IEEE’s Everything You Need to Know About 5G explanatory video is fairly good, though a little cheer-leading in tone.

Meanwhile Telecom is hyping all kinds of 5G announcements and claims jostling for consumer favor in the 5G race. 

Don’t believe the hype. For instance, don’t believe the claims of Verizon’s new ‘SG10 + 5G phone’ for $1,600.   5G is still very much under development, and they have not even decided on a complete standard technology protocol yet.  Here is a fairly accurate pop-review of how primitive it is at this time (however, beware that he is touting an affiliate link for it)   

At this time wireless manufacturers are concentrating on developing new technology protocols in order to move more data faster using the frequencies they already have available in the mid range ( below 6 GHz).  Once they know how much they can push what already exits, new frequencies may be implemented (possibly) after the small-areas of testing prove the technology and economics.

What Meters Do I Use to Measure 5G?

At this time, all the same formerly available meters detect these “5G” frequencies, same as always. In the rare places where a few of the higher frequencies are being tested with the small cell high frequency systems only industry-grade meters are available since they are being used for industry testing. But remember, not all small cells operate at the proposed high frequencies.

The consumer-grade meters you see advertising that they measure 5G, more than likely do not actually measure the higher frequencies of the test installations. Save your money until the protocol is selected and standardized. Once the 5G phones get into mass production the chips used for the high frequencies will come down in price and consumer grade meters will become available.

How Do I Stay Current with Accurate 5G Info?

To be up front, from what I have seen, I’d say this newsletter will be one of the best ways to stay current with 5G developments, and generally all other EMF-related developments, in a simplified to-the-point way, and for now it is just getting up to speed, much more to come. Admittedly though, neither I nor any mere mortals I know can keep their footing on the leading edge of fast changing developments, so if you think you’ve found a credible source for staying 5G-current, let me know.

Clearly We Need More Honesty Regarding 5G than We are Getting

At this 5G pre-launch time most of the other seemingly official 5G news sources exist to promote their individual agendas, in particular the plethora of wireless technology manufacturers who plan to use 5G and the regulatory bodies who govern telecommunication. An August 2019 article in PC Mag tried with only a little success to clarify some of the ready-to-go hype by Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and ATT&T.

Additionally, also with their own agendas, numerous misinformed or partially informed sources are voicing disturbing speculations and with them raising fears. The end result is even more mass confusion about 5G. One of the more notable “social media influencers” is Sacha Stone who is known for films on provocative topics, who describes his feature 2019 film 5G Apocalypse ” The Extinction Event video, with this marketing rhetoric:

A full length documentary exposing the 5G existential threat to humanity in a way we never imagined possible! …. We know what this technology is – we know how it was conceived and we know where it is intended to take people and planet. We are drawing the line here….and we are doing so with the full fire of consciousness. Arise Homo sapiens!

Sacha Stone, Filmmaker

From an electrical engineering perspective the many inaccuracies in this film make my ‘Spider-Sense (Spider Man’s early warning system) go off. I am not including the link here in order not to increase its traffic and thus its popularity rankings; however if you are interested in knowing what your prospective consulting clients may be watching, it is not hard to locate. In any case, I encourage you, wherever you run across inflammatory or disturbing information sources that somehow “sound plausible” I urge you to keep alerted to the self-promotion or other agenda, which may be hidden, but in the case of Mr. Stone it is overtly stated on his site, New Earth Nation this way (a small excerpt from a very long manifesto):

Sacha Stone’s socio-political writings  and ‘State of the World’ reports serve as harsh critiques on the disease of globalisation and covert elitism (the architecture of fear and control). He emphasises the need for a conscious return (via a total collapse of the collective human conceptual framework) back into the true ‘zero-point’ contained within the quanta of the (collective) human heart – in order for us to qualify and participate fully in the next great step in our human and planetary evolution.

Bedtime Reading Separating Fact from Fiction

If you are interested in digging down in a leading edge quest to understand 5G for yourself, it will be tough digging and equally tough separating the fact from the fiction. So, to set you off in the right direction, one of the best books I’ve read on 5G technology, is the 440 page 2019 tome titled 5G NR: The Next Generation of Wireless Access Technology, by Dahlman, Parkvall and Skold, authors of the highly acclaimed books on 3G and 4G. NR refers to New Radio, a new radio access technology (RAT) developed by 3GPP for the 5G (fifth generation) mobile network. It was designed to be the global standard for the air interface of 5G networks.

The book is particularly helpful in elucidating the differing technological components of 5G and why, of all possible technology options, these are leading choices as technology moves forward. This is helpful to an EMF Consultant in determining what exactly we’ll be dealing with, and therefore what we need to protect from.

Heavy bedtime reading, which will either be a thrilling page-turner for you or a sleep aid. As I wade through books like this one I’ll endeavor to keep you posted as more (authentic non-hype) 5G developments occur, but for the moment, as 2019 swells with 5G ‘pilot zones’, over exuberant pre-marketing, and anticipation of launch announcements, the best advice I can give is stay calm and carry on.

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Chris Young

Chris has been a licensed Professional Electrical Engineer for over 40 years, practicing in nearly half the States in the USA and serving as CEO of Executive Engineering Services for companies dedicated to making electrical power safer for people. His areas of professional expertise include utility, industrial, commercial and government entities, as well as private homes and work places. Though Chris was once an avid electronic technophile working in a corporate WiFi cloud, with constantly ringing cellphones holstered on each hip accommodating the 30 international engineering services offices reporting directly to him, his growing concern for Electrosmog, the consumer obliviousness to it, and the lack of expert understanding of biological hazards along with the lack of health-minded safety standards to deal with it, prompted him to retire early in order to devote his expertise to being part of the bigger solution - living with our technology safely and using it knowledgeably. Today, in addition to his highly respected training of worldwide Certified EMF Expert Consultants. Chris serves on the IEEE committees reviewing EMF safety standards, and he is a highly sought after leading authority on EMF Detection and Protection.

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