5G Network: What Do We Know?

Perhaps you have heard whispers of the new 5G network that is replacing the current 4G network. Maybe you've heard about it from the cell phone companies, or you're just up-to date-on the new technologies of the world. Regardless, I'm going to share some information about 5G with you now.

What is 5G?

5G is the new generation of cell phone and device networks. It's what connects all phones and provides all the data you could ever dream of. The 4G network isn't being turned off, but 5G is being implemented on top of it for now. 

This new network will provide the fastest rates of data to ever be seen, delivering data ten to a hundred times faster than 4G. The average speeds for data retrieval will be 1 gigabyte per second. This is insanely fast! With 5G you can download an entire movie onto your phone or laptop in one second. You can do practically anything instantaneously because communication from machines and the internet is being sped up. 

How does it work?

The previous networks used to be comprised of radio waves. Unfortunately, there are so many devices around the nation and world that these networks have become congested. Think of it like a freeway with bumper-to-bumper traffic. The road will get you to where you need to be, but all the other cars are preventing you from getting there promptly.

It's the same with data retrieval. Next time eduroam is taking a million years to open Canvas, make sure you blame the person standing next to you for clogging the network. 

5G's solution to this is moving to use millimeter waves, which have a higher frequency than radio-waves. These tiny waves pass information through the network to devices.

One downside of these waves is that they get blocked easily by trees, buildings, and other objects. To compensate for this, 5G will be implemented with more stations than previous networks. These stations are what you see on top of buildings or lamp posts. The best stations are the ones they try to make look like palm trees. You're not fooling us, 5G implementers. 

When and where can I witness 5G?

Surprise! 5G is already out! It has been implemented in many cities already, but will not be completely nationwide until 2020. This change will also be more prominent in the USA, as other countries are more hesitant to shift towards 5G. 

You will soon start to see more and more 5G stations in your everyday life. Because the wavelengths are so short for millimeter waves, there will be a station around every 500 ft to prevent the waves from being blocked. 

Are there dangers?

It is very important to investigate whether this new network is dangerous. If it is being implemented across the country, large amounts of consistent radiation could be a possible outcome. 

It poses the question of whether the higher energy of millimeter waves used in 5G produces more radiation than the previous networks. It is said these waves do not damage cells directly because they are non-ionizing, meaning they don't have a high enough energy to cause severe damage. However, non-ionizing waves present the hazard of too much heating.

Other research has shown 5G technology to be similar to the microwave technology you see in your household every day. Over 90% of microwave radiation is absorbed by the human skin. What would happen if people began absorbing more wavelengths like this, due to the many stations being put up?

Honestly, the question of whether it is dangerous or not can't be answered. Very few toxicology studies have been performed on this technology, and certainly not enough for it to be implemented safely to the public. More research needs to be done on 5G immediately. 

We need to do our research on these new technologies and understand what is being implemented nationwide. Truth is, 5G will be in your neighborhood soon if it isn't already. And it's a little scary that we cannot say whether it is totally safe or not. I hope there is more research done on the dangers of this network before it is everywhere, and too late.