Scientists Urge Companies to Reconsider 5G Technology

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Scientists Urge Companies to Reconsider 5G Technology

Courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel

Courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel

Courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel

Riley Hazel, Editor-in-Chief

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5G technology, used within the cellular network industry, has been rolling out to big cities, including Central Florida. Its dangers, some unknown at this time, some detrimental, are not well known to the public, however, the networks are pushing for the newer and bigger technological upgrades. 

All four of the major US carriers, (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) carry some form of the wireless network, although it is limited to major cities as it is still in its public beta testing. But before we go into why this infrastructure upgrade has potentially harmful side effects, let’s evaluate what 5G has to offer.

The term ‘5G’ stands for fifth-generation cellular wireless, an underlying technology for personal communications, wireless connection, etc. Making its debut at the end of 2017, the enhancement allows for greater speed (to move more data), the ability to connect to more devices at once, and lower latency (to be more responsive).

In addition to speeding up data times, the advancement unlocks new jobs as well. For example: to install the technology alongside a dense population such as International Drive, it is expected that

Courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel
A cell tower at the University of Central Florida’s campus houses 5G connectivity.

20,000 nodes or connecting points for the towers will need to be put up, this adds up to about every few feet or so. According to Orlando’s planning department, those 20,000 nodes will give about

60% coverage to the surrounding area.

Fifth generation cellular communications offer a wide range of benefits including a stronger and more powerful infrastructure, faster internet speeds, jobs, and even the ability to service self-driving cars. However, all these electronic communications come at a price, which in this case is your health. 

As with previous cellular networks, 5G networks depends on radio waves- a part of the electromagnetic spectrum- which are transmitted through an antenna or your phone. The difference between past networks and 5G is that 5G uses higher frequency waves, allowing for faster speeds. The idea was to create a system with the machines in mind.

The radiation that emits from these connections is comparable to using your cellphone on a daily basis, but with the high amount of machines being installed, the radiation concentrations can easily exceed a can easily exceed an ideal amount of radiation for humans.

What is radiation exposure linked to? Studies have linked all radiation emissions to a wide range of cancers. Brain cancer and breast cancer are among the many negative associations. 

Overall, the carcinogenic gets a bad reputation from scientists but is among the many hidden figures within this ambitious goal of rolling out the new upgrades. Before 5G is made available to the masses, there needs to be more research conducted.

Scientists are urging for companies to be cautious in their decisions regarding 5G technology because of the unknown causes. Conflicting articles have been released, some stating that the radiation shouldn’t be a concern while others are advocating for restrictions. Although scrolling through your Instagram feed at the speed of light sounds amazing, is it worth the cost of your health?

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