Technology is on a never-ending cycle where it becomes more and more advanced with each day that passes. It’s surreal to see how far technology has come over the past couple of years. Wireless technology has been one of the major drivers in today’s technological advancements and economic development.
In 2010 Sprint released the first WiMAX smartphone in the US, the HTC Evo 4G. This allowed people to experience faster and more efficient internet speeds. But like all things nowadays, something newer and better is around the corner.
The fifth generation of wireless technology that is referred to as 5G, is on its way. In fact, Verizon has begun to activate its new home internet service that runs atop its 5G wireless network. They call it 5G Home and is being used in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento – with speeds reaching 300 Mbps!
As the 5G network develops, the next generation wireless network has got the ability to create extended economic opportunities for millions of people, increase growth, and allow other technologies to develop along the way like smart appliances on the IoT, autonomous vehicles, robotics and automation, better entertainment services, and incredible internet speeds. .
However, while all this sounds outstanding, not everyone is on board, yet. There is a number of reasons for this, but they mainly relate to health concerns. While 5G network would allow super speed downloads, this would require cell phone towers to be located closer to homes/offices than before. In the U.S. it is said that they are going to install around 300,000 new towers.
This is causing outrage amongst local neighborhoods due to the high-frequency waves that support the faster speeds. Locals say locating the towers so close to their homes is a serious health concern and could even cause cancer due to the high level of electromagnetic radiation.
Why is There Controversy Surrounding a 5G Network?
Speculation about 5G towers being located next to domestic areas has been going around since 2017. An event that occurred in The Netherlands has sparked some outrage and more worries and concerns.
In October 2018, hundreds of birds in a park in the Netherlands suddenly started falling from the trees and dying during a suspected 5G experiment around The Hague.
It was also reported that nearby ducks that were swimming began to react oddly, concurrently putting their heads underwater in what is believed to be, escape of the radiation, while other flew away.
While there is no concrete evidence that suggests a direct link to the death of the birds to the experiment that was taking place, others are convinced that the spontaneous death of hundreds of birds was not just a coincidence.
Between the 19th of October and the 3rd of November 2018, 339 dead birds were found. The municipality is unable to rule out their deaths being a result of poisoning however, there was a dog ban ordered around the park.
The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority confirmed that viruses like West Nile and Usutu were not the cause of death and have not ruled out any other viruses or poisoning as of 12th November 2018. A team of experts is investigating the cause of deaths and the incident links.
While others claim that the reason for the deaths is related to the experiment that was taking place, others say it was just a freak accident. The Netherlands is not the first place such an event has occurred. In fact, back in 2011 in Arkansas, Louisiana, and certain areas of Sweden, it was reported that thousands of birds mysteriously and almost simultaneously died. It was reported by the Associated Press that these mass bird deaths are quite common and unexplained.
Is the 5G experiment to blame?
5G network developers promise faster data rates in addition to reduced energy and financial cost. These developments will arise from the use of higher frequency radio bands and the development of more advanced cellular towers.
When new wireless technologies such as 5G come about, they are assigned higher radio frequencies. This is due to the fact that the tech needs higher frequencies as it is typically not used and move data at much faster speeds. The issue is that higher frequencies signals do not travel as far as lower frequencies so more signal towers or MIMOs will have to be installed anywhere 5G is offered.
In Europe, 5G will make use of three frequency ranges: a low-frequency 700MHz “coverage layer”, a 3.4-3.8GHz band which will be the primary bandwidth and a “super data layer” in the highest frequency 24.25-27.5GHz band. However, it is important to note that these are theoretical ranges and were not the ranges tested in The Netherlands. Nevertheless, all these frequencies are considered to be safe according to the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.
The radio waves that are used in cellular technology can be described both by their frequency and in terms of the energy being used to carry that frequency. Dr. Eric van Rongen, member of HCN and the chairman of ICNIRP stated that the levels of exposure in the 5G frequency range are similar and can be compared to the levels of exposure in the current 3G and 4G networks, and thus, much lower than the exposure limits.
He also stated that the only way one could imagine the death of the birds being related to the experiment is if there were very high exposure levels that result in considerable heating. However, the levels that were being used for the experiment were not strong enough for that to happen.
So what’s the verdict?
The truth is, no one really knows what caused the death of the birds. We can only assume and speculate until there is a hard proof that confirms that the 5G network experiments are to blame. Until then, people will continue to come up with all sorts of claims and conspiracies.
5G has the power to take technology to the next level, further modernizing our generation by providing greatly enhanced speed, coverage, and responsiveness of wireless networks. And just like many of the modern advancements in the fields of technology and innovation, there will be resistance and there will be protests against the development by people inside and outside the industry.
However, as things progress and tests return results in favor of the technology, evidence will reflect the impact on health and radiation exposure. The long-term effects will require more observation and to be determined in the future.
At this point in time, it is recommended to stay vigilant and have a healthy dose of skepticism. It is recommended that we do not jump into conclusions without evidence and not to indulge in propagating unverified claims and conspiracies, especially if such claims are spread around by individuals who have limited understanding of the subject matter and have no experience in the industry, academically and experimentally.