5G Tech – Friend or Foe?
Here we go again. Another generation of cellular technology awaits. Just when you thought 4G was as good as it gets and you could finally wrap your brain around all of the potentials, we now have to relearn another cellular platform. Enter 5G 101.
Before you get too frustrated and have a meltdown moment wondering how you’re going to reconnoiter yet another smartphone app, rest assured the transition will be a bit smoother than the last telecom leap, and a much slower one at that.
Questions that come up quite often with 5G cellular technology is what are some of the pros and cons related to this highly touted platform and what to expect. One of the biggest fears we hear all too often is having to purchase a new cell phone that is 5G compatible. To answer that comes with some good news and some not-so convenient realities. The answer also depends on just how much you want to be part of the 5G experience.
Advanced Tower Technology
As of the publishing of this article, 5G is only running in select test market cities and over-zealous countries. There is still a great deal of American wilderness to cover before everyone will need to give up the 4G ghost for good.
One thing to keep in mind and a key difference between 4G and 5G is tower use, configuration, distance, and overall consumer demand. Due to the triangulation requirements and millimeter wave (mmWave) utilization, tower node output is significantly diminished within short distances (Much like a microwave oven). In other words, there needs to be more cell node (5G mini-tower) disbursement in concentrated areas. On average, 5G cell node tower clusters need to be about within about 500ft apart from each other to work effectively…especially in big cities. In comparison, 4G towers are approximately 10 miles apart at higher elevations, depending on terrain, land leases, and easements. 1G-4G has always operated on a broadband frequency that has communicated with cell phones via tower-to-tower connectivity. As you drive while talking on your phone, each tower hands the signal off to the other every ten miles…which is why sometimes calls get dropped or your call ‘digitizes’ as the signal stretches and dilutes.
ADVANTAGES TO 5G TECHNOLOGY
Latency: Probably the number one benefit of 5G connectivity is significantly reduced lag time. Why is it so important? The lower the latency, the more effective the real-time experience will be for the consumer. If you are a banker or serious stock trader, for instance, you will need to have trades executed as close to real-time as possible. Milliseconds can translate into substantial losses or gains when latency is affected.
Another area that is greatly affected by latency is gaming. If you are a die-hard ‘gamer’, then it’s a big deal. Milliseconds can mean the difference in serious competitions. Gaming, especially professional computer gaming events, also referred to as “twitch” gaming, rely on the absolute lowest latency connection or ‘ping’. Essentially, this refers to the time it takes for the signal to get to the server and back. If it’s a satellite connection, the ping will be noticeably higher (longer) and not the choice of serious gamers that require an instantaneous trigger reaction, like snipe shooting, etc.
5G latency speeds also pave the wave for the future. This technology will allow for autonomous vehicles to effectively communicate in crucial real-time situations where braking and course correction reaction time is vital. If the navigation signal is lost or delayed, it renders the auto-driving car immobile and vitaly unsafe for passenger travel. This also raises the legal liability factor, a key legal component in self-driving cars on the open road.
One other futuristic advantage to low latency is the virtual surgical field of medicine. Surgeons advancing in this VR technology will need precision, as well as an acute response reaction time when ‘WYSIWYG‘ delicate procedures are required. Where 4G offered latency speeds of 20-30ms (milliseconds), 5G is promising latencies as low as 1ms. These disparities in time can mean all the difference between life and death when operating on patients countries apart.
Speed is always king in the telecom user world. When referencing ‘speeds’ relative to cell phone service, it is important to note that not only is latency a factor but optimal download velocity over capability is the Holy Grail. As previously mentioned, 5G technology is built on a foundation of mmWave (millimeter Wave) frequency. High output burst microwaves within short distances is what allows such a maximum concentration of information throughput. 5G proliferates a next gen network that is engineered to interface with virtually everyone and every device including people, machines, vehicles, AI, and a wide array of devices.
This next generation platform also promises zero buffering (That little percentage meter that slowly circles in the middle of your screen) and data downloads that used to take hours. Imagine downloading a full-length movie in about one second. Or an entire Netflix series in under ten. The world is about to morph into a whole new level of data accessibility.
5G broadband technology is designed to deliver heavy superior multi-Gbps throughput data speeds, extremely low latency (about 1ms), advanced reliability, impressive availability, substantial network capacity, and a global uniform consumer/end user experience.
In the laws of physics it is said that for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. So it seems with emerging advanced technologies. There is equally a trade-off involving the pros and cons in the world of cellular science. 5G technology expansion is no exception.
Planned Obsolescence Planned Obsolescence.
We’ve all seen it before. Outdated cell phones, computers, and equipment…not to mention the accessories! Chargers, adaptors, battery packs, case protectors, and screen covers. Again, planned obsolescence is the name of the game in telecom. A billion-dollar industry in ancillary products alone. The 5G roll-out is not only the exception but expect an inventory of even more related gadgets and complementary accessories.
Fortunately, at least or now, you won’t need to run out and purchase the biggest, baddest new cell phone to connect to 5G. Remember those 4G cell towers? For rural and even most suburban areas, those towers will still provide an essential backbone for cell phone connectivity. There will still be plenty of areas where 5G cell nodes won’t be needed every 500ft. However, if you live in a predominately 5G city, you will eventually need to segway away from your expensive 4G handset if you want the desired download speeds and latency that 5G promises. In a nutshell, 5G cell phones will be able to work in both 4G and 5G areas, however, 1G-4G cell phones are 4G cell tower area indigenous only. 4G phones are not designed to integrate with 5G nodes. (Remember that planned obsolescence thing earlier?)
Deceptive AT&T promotion eluding to the 5G level of service: If your 4G cell phone pops up with an antennae indicator with the “5Ge” symbol, don’t get all excited. It’s NOT 5G and nothing remotely associated with it.
Back in December of 2018, in what was a seemingly desperate attempt at jumping the gun on the whole “5G” hype, AT&T decided to roll out its own version of the equivalent to and already existing platform called, LTE. The “e” in 5Ge stands for “Evolution”, which, when tested, was slower than LTE. A sly way of teasing through side-ways false advertising. 5Ge incorporates 4X4 MU-MIMO, 3-Way Carrier Integration and 256 QAM, all significant components to the 5G backbone being developed. 5G is only effective in about 50 US test market cities, behind China at roughly 60 and South Korea just under 100 to date.
RF radiation and Triangulation
With the feverish expansion of infrastructure and terrain coverage of 5G technology throughout the world, little is mentioned of the adverse circumstances or ‘cons’ of this rapidly implemented technology. Nowhere have we discovered any studies or published science advocating verifiable safety behind the dense output of this tele-tech. At best, only warning placards admonishing a ‘safe distance’ from towers giving way to hints of something amiss. With the growing concerns over radiofrequency (RF) radiation transmissions in the communications industry, one has to ponder the possibility that we may be advancing faster than the science can support this behemoth. We are creating this all in the name of quenching our thirst for faster downloads. Does the end truly justify the means? Is the trade-off really worth it? Sadly, only time will reveal the outcome. Often-times when the damage has already manifest itself, then it is far too late.
I am not criticizing the tech world for doing what it does naturally, especially when the majority demands and drives the industry. Supply and demand have often outweighed logic throughout history…and unfortunately at the risk of our environment, health, and security as well. Following the money is always the logical place to start. Unfortunately, in this case, we are the culprits of our own potential demise if 5G telecommunications fulfills our needs. Just about everyone has some variety of smartphone devices. We are addicted to information at a glance and at our fingertip. Staying connected is the theme of this century. Not a minute goes by that we don’t check in on what’s happening on social media, text, and email. The demands for connectivity are unlikely to ever subside.
Unfortunately, with a capacity density of output from radiofrequency also comes a significant concentration of microwave radiation. One tower per 4G cell phone connection as opposed to three cell tower nodes for 5G at millimeter Wave throughput to each device relative to human proximity. Even worse is that 5G works on ‘beamforming’ from a triangulated array of RF bombardment to the cell phone user, which translates to three times the microwave exposure from three opposing angles.
There seems to be a mounting concern, as well as some pretty convincing evidence that these RF radiation microwaves may be harmful at some levels to human exposure, especially over extended periods of time, even for 4G and previous generation technology. If you are guilty of holding your cell phone up to your ears when talking or tucking it down your bra for safekeeping, think again. You will need to seriously rethink your cell phone habits with 5G cell service at triple the exposure. Need I say more? Women are falling victims to breast cancer being diagnosed at an even younger age than ever before. Even Senator John McCain died of brain cancer and was known to be on his phone most of the time without a Bluetooth device. Not a proven fact that RF radiation was the culprit but suspicious none-the-less.
There was a time when we ignored decades of obvious health risks with smoking cigarettes and tobacco use. TV, radio, and magazine ads all turned a blind eye to lung cancer, pneumonia, emphysema, and heart disease. This was because the killer was a slow and silent one sometimes not manifesting health concerns for even half a lifetime. It even took the EPA several decades to publish the fatal facts about smoking.
The biggest red flag in the area of this technology is an equally obvious omission of scientific studies from the telecom industries. Independent studies are constantly being conducted but none are being recognized as significant proof to draw viable concern to our health. The EPA admits to some levels of radiation exposure but not enough to raise any red flags. However, if you look at the chart they provide to show you the exposure “at ear” proximity, it’s still alarming.
The problem is that this is still a smoking gun and where there is smoke, there is usually fire. Nuclear testing in the Nevada desert occurred between 1951 and 1957 and was also deemed harmless at that time until families in its path became deathly ill (named “Downwinders) and eventually sued for damages years later. Will we pay for the same caliber of negligence in the years to come but on a global scale?
We are not saying that we all need to throw away our cell phones and hide under a rock but I do think we need to be responsible and find ways to mitigate against potentially harmful radiofrequency radiation.
Mitigating Danger / Quantum Waves
Recently there has been some promising technology emerging and being published about products now offered that have shown substantial proof in filtering RF radiation affecting our body while using cell phones.
Scientists like James Clerk Maxwell, Warren Hanchey, Konstantin Meyl, Tom Paladino, and especially Nikola Tesla are all pioneers in alternative wave energy technology. Notably, Mr. Hanchey is one of the leaders today in RF/EMF microwave radiation filtering. His holographic science bears compelling evidence that we are heading in the right direction in allowing microwaves to do their respective tasks while filtering harmful levels away from the body.
Identifying “bio-pollution” has been a key step in mitigating against this potentially imminent and silent threat. These experts have been successful in discovering and harnessing new energy wave technology known as ‘scalar’ energy, a non-electromagnetic spectrum also referred to, by Tesla, as Radiant Energy. By programming the scalar waves, this proven science can be imprinted into hologram patches that filter away the transmission of harmful RF/EMF radiation at impressive levels. Ultimately, if we are going to be forced into a 5G society that exposes us to these microwaves beyond our power, then perhaps equal and greater sciences like scalar energy are a viable start and will evolve to a level that will protect everyone.
CISA and HOMELAND SECURITY (5G Risks and Managing Vulnerabilities)
Lastly, according to CISA (Cybersecurity and INfrastructure Agency), 5G has a very long way to go in addressing security issues. The 5th generation of cell phone service will need to fully integrate and carry over many cybersecurity protocols from the 4G platform, which are still seeing challenges to this day.
A quote from the website of Homeland Security states the following:
“As the nation’s risk advisor, CISA has determined that 5G implementation will introduce vulnerabilities in the following critical areas:
- Supply Chain: The 5G supply chain is susceptible to the malicious or unintentional introduction of risks like malicious software and hardware, counterfeit components, and poor designs, manufacturing processes, and maintenance procedures.
- Deployment: 5G will use more information and communication technology (ICT) components than previous generations of wireless networks. Improperly deployed, configured, or managed 5G equipment and networks may be vulnerable to disruption and manipulation.
- Network Security: 5G builds upon previous generations of wireless networks and is currently being integrated with 4G LTE networks that contain some legacy vulnerabilities, such as Distributed Denial of Service attacks and SS7/Diameter challenges. These vulnerabilities may affect 5G equipment and networks even with additional security enhancements.
- Competition and Choice: Despite the development of standards that encourage interoperability, some companies are building proprietary interfaces into their technologies, which limits customers’ choices to use other equipment. Lack of interoperability with other technologies and services limits the ability of trusted ICT companies to compete in the 5G market.
To address these critical challenges, CISA and S&T are advocating that government and industry work collaboratively to maximize 5G’s benefits and promote its security and resilience.“
This is only the start but where there is a demand there will always be equal opportunity for solutions. However, unless we fail to learn from the past, we are always destined to repeat it.