What is 5G communication, how is it different from previous technologies, and why do many people today believe in conspiracy theories related to it?
Although Russia is still far from widespread coverage with commercial 5G networks, it is high time to answer these troubling questions.
Features of 5th generation mobile networks
The letter “G” in the name of the mobile communication standard is an abbreviation of the English word generation. The first generation of mobile networks (1G) appeared in the 80s of the last century. And each subsequent decade brought a new standard to replace it: 2G (early 90s), 3G (early 2000s) and 4G LTE (2010s).
All of them provided higher data transfer rates compared to their predecessors. But user needs grew even faster. Today, voice communication and access to social networks are no longer enough for us. We are talking about instant access to cloud services and high quality video, as well as mass connection of a whole range of fundamentally new devices.
All this will be possible thanks to the latest 5G mobile platform. It is better than 4G for several reasons: much faster, more capacity, lower latency, and better functionality. This is achieved primarily by increasing the frequencies used.
So if 4G operates at frequencies of 1.8 and 2.6 GHz, then 5G uses a wide range from 0.6 to 100 GHz. The logic here is simple, the higher the wave frequency, the more information can be transmitted per unit of time. But there is also a downside to the coin. Such waves decay faster, therefore, much more base stations are needed.
5G and coronavirus
The first brick in the building of a conspiracy theory about the relationship of 5G networks and the COVID-19 virus was probably an article on the website Les moutons enrages (from French – mad sheep) on January 20, 2020.
Its authors saw a kind of causal relationship between the installation of 100 5G base stations in Wuhan, China and the outbreak of a new disease. In the future, the theory was picked up and enriched with versions. According to them, 5G towers allegedly
– can cause infection with COVID-19;
– spread radiation;
– damage cell membranes;
– cause viral mutations;
– “make the oxygen molecules vibrate”, as a result of which the body feels a lack of oxygen;
– reduce immunity, cause cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Already at the beginning of April, opponents of the fifth generation cellular communication switched from words to deeds. Rallies were held all over the world. In Britain alone, there have been over 50 cases of arson and damage to base stations. However, some of them only distributed 4G.
Fraudulent sites began selling regular USB sticks for $ 300 under the guise of 5G radiation shielding devices. And on the website of the President of Ukraine, a petition appeared and received more than 25 thousand votes under the heading: “Prohibit the introduction of 5G due to its extremely negative impact on health!”
What do scientists say?
Let’s deal with everything that is imputed to 5G in order. Wuhan truly became one of the first Chinese cities to introduce 5G. But we know that coronavirus is transmitted only by contact and airborne droplets. In addition, the epidemic has spread to many countries that have never had 5G, such as Iran.
It is important to remember about radiation that this is an imprecise term. Electromagnetic radiation can be divided into ionizing and non-ionizing. Ionizing radiation, which includes x-rays, gamma rays and hard ultraviolet radiation, is really dangerous. It can interact with tissues at the cellular level and cause cancer.
In contrast, the radio emission that is used for mobile communications is non-ionizing. This means that he does not have enough energy to somehow interfere with DNA and cause damage to cellular structures. With prolonged exposure, it can only heat the human body by fractions of a degree. But even this requires its level many times higher than the current standards.
By the way, these norms are among the strictest in the world. So the permissible levels of radiation of transmitting radio engineering objects are: in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan – up to 10 μW / cm2; in the USA, Europe, Japan – from 200 to 1000 μW / cm2; in China – up to 2000 µW / cm².
In February of this year, WHO published the report “5G Mobile Networks and Health”. It notes that “currently the impact of 5G infrastructure at a frequency of about 3.5 GHz is similar to the impact of existing mobile base stations” and no harm to health from its use has been established.
The international commission on protection against non-ionizing radiation did not find a negative impact of 5G on health. At the same time, WHO was reinsured and classified the entire radio frequency spectrum as a “possible carcinogen” in a company with pickled vegetables, processed meat and alcohol.
In summary, scientists and regulators consider 5G frequencies, like their predecessors, to be generally safe, subject to current health regulations. At the same time, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation, to which we voluntarily expose ourselves on the beach, can be much more dangerous and certainly capable of causing mutations in skin cells.
Why are conspiracy theories so tenacious?
The number of conspiracy theories is constantly growing. Psychologists see one of the reasons for this phenomenon in the needs of the human person.
Possession of “secret knowledge” gives conspiracy theorists an intoxicating sense of their own uniqueness. It also provides simple answers to difficult questions and helps to come to terms with their own feelings of powerlessness by suggesting a specific culprit in their troubles in life.
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