Is the World Ready for 5G?
The horizon of cellular technology is growing brighter every day. Fold-able phones bring promises of greater power and usability in our pockets. While the upcoming 5G network will increase our speeds ten fold. But with progress come apprehension as well as excitement.
The cellular industry has been under fire for years. Worries about the dangers of electromagnetic radiation have spawned plenty of claims about tumors, cancer or even death. Every advancement brings a new wave of worries. As recently as this week we have seen false-claims that 5G towers spread Corona Virus! But are these worries legitimate or are we on the cusp of the next jump in infrastructure?
5G tests have already begun in a limited number of cities set up with the infrastructure. It promises to deliver download speeds up to 11 times faster than 4G in some cases. Stats have touted up to 1Gbps download speed, a major improvement from previous options. Additionally, latency is a huge factor in quick browsing speeds and more importantly gaming quality on phones. Reports show that latency could be up to 20 times faster than 4G. It represents the response time of your device while using the internet.
With so many advantages are we ignoring the risks of new tech? People often cite nuclear radiation, radiation from space or even microwaves to back up claims of 5G danger. However this use of “radiation” is a misnomer. In an interview with Dr. Steve Novella he says “Using the term radiation is misleading because people think of nuclear weapons—they think of ionizing radiation that absolutely can cause damage. It can kill cells. It can cause DNA mutations…..There’s no known mechanism for most forms of non-ionizing radiation to even have a biological effect,”
There have been some studies attempting to find links between cellular radiation and cancer, but with varying results. One such study was done on rats with heavy exposure to 2G and 3G radio frequency. There were some rats that developed small tumors in parts of their body, however as Kenneth Foster points out int he article the tumors were infrequent and minimal even to the point of being just as common as tumors in non-exposed rats. He states: “there are three possibilities: (a) a statistical fluke; (b) a real effect due to thermophysiological changes; or (c) a direct effect of RF energy. Occam’s razor suggests that the first two are more likely.”
We should all be weary of any new technologies, however its important to base our fears on evidence and scientific proof. If we are worried about dangers we can all make an effort to seek real knowledge about the situation. In the meantime we can look forward to all the benefits 5G has to offer, least of all improved eas of use in our mobile devices.