5G IN LINCOLN - CONSPIRACIES, FACTS AND THE ROLL-OUT
Updated: May 28
The other week I read an article about people damaging cell phone towers. Apparently, there is an ongoing belief, inspired by online conspiracy theories, that 5G technology is causing COVID-19 in humans.
Now, this is a hair-raising thought. In frightening times like these, it's not surprising that a lot of people choose to believe it and some even to act on it. All of this has got me thinking, is 5G the boogie man conspiracy theorists claim it to be? So let's see if there any reasons to be afraid.
What Is 5G?
5G is the name used for the fifth generation of cellular internet connectivity. It is a successor to 4G and enables the users to enjoy faster speeds and better connectivity on mobile devices that support this technology. On top of it, more devices can be used and connected within the same geographic region. This means that smart appliances like smart fridge are on their way to us.
Difference Between 4G And 5G
The frequency of 4G waves is 700 MHz (megahertz) to 2.7GHz (gigahertz). And 5G works on two frequency ranges, which are:
Sub-6 GHz range - from 450 MHz to 6 GHz
Millimetre wave range - from 24.25 GHz to 52.6 GHz
The difference in speed is astonishing. The fastest version of 4G is called 4G LTE (long-term evolution). Its peak download speed is 300 Mb/s and peak upload speed - 75 Mb/s.
5G data speeds are: peak download speed - 20 Gb/s (gigabits) and peak upload speed - 10 Gb/s.
In reality, this would mean hyper-fast download times, no annoying load times and no lagging.
5G Conspiracy Theories
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been a lot of conspiracy theories making rounds around the internet that 5G is somehow causing the illness. Now they are harder to find, but until big internet names like YouTube and Facebook decided to put them down, there have been tons of videos with all kinds of people with no scientific backgrounds, making outrageous claims about how 5G is supposedly causing the pandemic.
For example, there was one guy who claimed that body cells can be irradiated with 5G and when it happens, the body starts cleansing itself by producing the virus. Anyone with even a basic level of knowledge in biology will understand how crazy this sounds.
One of the other well-known theories was that COVID-19 symptoms cannot be caused by a coronavirus, because you can’t simply “catch a virus”. Completely ignoring the fact that there are a lot of viruses that cause respiratory infections which are being spread by sneezing and coughing. These viruses include common cold, influenza, chickenpox, mumps, measles, etc.
Is It Safe?
The electromagnetic spectrum has two types of electromagnetic radiation. One is ionizing, which is dangerous because it has enough energy to break molecular bonds (think x-rays or nuclear plants). The other one is non-ionizing radiation, which is not harmful to us because it doesn’t have enough energy.
5G emits the latter, non-ionizing radiation. In comparison, sunlight has a higher frequency than 5G and while infrared and visible light are non-ionizing forms of radiation, a small spectrum of ultraviolet (UV) light that can penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and reach us, is ionizing and it’s the thing that gives us a sunburn.
What Do The Experts Say?
Data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health England (PHE) and the International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) show that non‐ionising radiation has no adverse health effects on human health.
According to the World Health Organisation:
“As the frequency increases, there is less penetration into the body tissues and absorption of the energy becomes more confined to the surface of the body (skin and eye). Provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated.”
All in all, it seems that people who actually study these things for a living agree, that 5G is safe and no worse than the technology we are using today.
When Is 5G Coming To Lincoln?
5G is first coming to the UK's largest cities and where it’s needed the most. And unfortunately, Lincoln is not one of those places, because the roll-out hasn’t even been announced yet.
It is probably due to a well-developed 4G LTE network. My speculation is that there is simply no need for operators to first splash vast sums of money on places that already have decent mobile internet speeds, to begin with.
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About the author
Laimonas Junda is a blog writer and a digital marketer from Lincoln, UK.