By Peter Tocci
By now, almost everyone has seen/heard something about the “next generation” wireless technology. Be careful what you look/listen for, and be sure to understand what you oppose – or want.
It’s a rather complex and confusing issue by itself, and not even the Industry has settled all details. To make things even worse, in the talk about “5G,” questionable and erroneous information, omissions, and sometimes propaganda, exist alongside fact. This has made fact-finding a challenge to say the least.
Some assertions in this overview are solid, others “depend,” some are of necessity speculation. Things change and new information arises such that articles need updating almost the moment they’re published. Therefore, anyone having verifiable information clarifying, enhancing, correcting, or refuting anything said here, PLEASE share via Comments.
The “next generation” is dangerous enough by itself (as is each previous G by itself), but some assertions about it make opposition and protests themselves dangerous. Confusion begins right off the bat, with the term “5G.” It’s being flung carelessly about — in articles, protests, news reports, corporate bulletins, by politicians — even by scientists, and in submissions and comments to official bodies.
As seen below in “5G Rollouts”, for accuracy one must at least distinguish 1) between 5G/‘small-cell’ infrastructure and 5G/small cells per se; 2) between 5G infrastructure and 5G high-frequency radiation; and 3) between high frequency 5G and mid- to low-band 5G (there is no defined ‘5G spectrum’).
Most people are familiar with the frequency designations used herein (cycles per second, or hertz – Hz). Megahertz (MHz) = millions of cycles/second. Gigahertz (GHz), billions; and terahertz (THz), trillions. It boggles the mind.
Most often brought to mind by “5G” is the high frequency microwave range often called “millimeter wave” (MMW) – specified overall as 30 GHz to 300 GHz, and wavelength 10 millimeters to 1mm respectively. “5Gmmw” is used herein to mean high frequency radiation as applied to telecom/WiFi, and “5Gmlb” for traditional telecom/WiFi frequencies. Another term used here is “fixture,” meaning an attached enclosure housing antennas.
One might see warnings such as: 1) “5G small cells are not small”; 2) the installations can be “hundreds of pounds,