Experts differ on which country leads in the commercial use of 5G, but agree that the top nations are China, South Korea (the first to launch in 2019), the United Kingdom and the United States.
In late October 2019, China rolled out the commercial use of 5G in 50 cities.
Not only did the novel coronavirus not get its start in pioneering South Korea, but the virus has gained a foothold in many countries (for example, Malaysia, Iran, France, Singapore and Nigeria) without 5G networks.
5G does not cause viruses
While there have been health concerns regarding the use of 5G networks — and mobile networks in general — owing to radiation, this has nothing to do with the outbreak of viruses; experts told AFP.
Speaking to Keri Hilson’s claims, Yusuf Sambo, a researcher at the University of Glasgow who is testing 5G in Scotland, said: “I think she’s an amazing singer, but I am not sure she knows what she’s talking about. Yes, there are fears about the health implications of 5G but they have to do with cancer and not viral infections.”
“One of her tweets actually advised people to ‘turn off 5G by disabling LTE’. She is literally saying ‘turn off 5G by disabling 4G’,” said Sambo.
Fabien Heliot, a researcher who specialises in electromagnetic exposure in wireless communication at the University of Surrey, explained: “5G, like previous generations of cellular communication systems, is an RF-based (radiofrequency) technology that uses electromagnetic (EM) waveform to transmit information; EM-waveforms are themselves non-ionizing radiations.”
Heliot said the waveforms in 5G are designed and transmitted similarly to 4G. “The main and only difference so far is … that 5G can transmit more data by using larger frequency bandwidth at the higher carrier frequency, and directivity of antennas at the base station.”
Being a living thing, a virus cannot be created by radiation, added Heliot. “Actually it is the other way round — there are guidelines put in place to ensure that radiation does not harm living things.”
5G and health
Heliot said that “the possible side-effects of 5G are the same as 4G, 3G, 2G, Wi-Fi; all these wireless communication technologies use EM waveform that radiates energy”.
He said 5G radiations are not as severe as “CT scan or x-ray technologies” which are used in medical care.
The World Health Organization’s website states that “a large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use”.
Regarding 5G, the WHO states: “Health-related conclusions are drawn from studies performed across the entire radio spectrum but, so far, only a few studies have been carried out at the frequencies to be used by 5G.
“Tissue heating is the main mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency fields and the human body. Radiofrequency exposure levels from current technologies result in negligible temperature rise in the human body.
“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.”
Some countries are remaining cautious: In late January, France’s Agency for Health and Safety highlighted a need for more data before 5G could be rolled out in the country.
This post was last modified on April 5, 2020 8:00 pm