Fifth Generation Wireless (5G) is the term used to describe the next-generation of mobile networks beyond LTE mobile networks which is engineered to increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks.
The backbone of the 5G standard comprises low-, mid- and high-band spectrum. 5G networks operate on different frequencies with potential peak speeds as high as 20 gigabits per second (Gbps) and millimetre-wave (20-60 GHz) at the low and high ends of the spectrum. In Summary the 5G technology provides internet speed of 10 to 100 times faster than 4G!
However, the 5G use of millimetreWave has a few drawbacks: Because it’s so high-frequency, the waves don’t travel long distances.
It has low coverage area and building (even glass) penetration is poor. That means a device operating on an mmWave-based network will need to be extremely close to a 5G node to catch a signal. This is the reason why there is (and will be) massive deployment of 5G towers around the neighbourhood nearer us (unlike 3G/4G sites).
5G been live in several cities globally since 2019. It has been deployed in 378 Cities across 34 Countries.
However, in the last few days, misinformation, accusation and counter-accusations have been circulating across social media, with some individuals even linking the next generation of technology to the recent spread of Coronavirus.
These commentators failed to establish how Monaco the first country in Europe to set up a 5G mobile phone network on July 9, 2019; built using technology from Chinese tech giant Huawei, yet it is among the countries with lowest cases of Coronavirus.
A telecoms analyst puts it this way: “Monaco is reputed as a wealthy country of about 40,000 residents but noted for $2.1 million per capita income. At the moment, Monaco has recorded 66 cases of COVID-19, 1 death and 3 recoveries. If 5G deployment correlates with COVID-19, Monaco ought to have disappeared from the face of the Earth”.
So, can we settle with the conspiracy theorists’ hypotheses? Well, the President of Enex Wireless Inc., Engineer Remi Adeyeye, in a chat with TechEconomy.ng has this to say:
“If there were basis for concern it would be the frequency being used for 5G deployment. However, 5G is designed to use all current spectrum allocations including those for 1G, 2G, 3G or 4G. As such any generic reference to 5G as a being designed to kill people makes no more sense than a claim that 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G were designed to kill people.
“While 5G can use frequency spectrum in the millimeter wave bands, its current version, Release 15, has been deployed in parts of the United States, substantial areas in China and most of South Korea. Release 16 was meant to be approved by middle of the year before Coronavirus issue came along.
“Both the mid-band and millimeter wave bands are being used for 5G deployments in the United States.
“The idea that even the millimeter wave frequencies, at the power level being used for 5G pose radiation absorption danger to human beings has been debunked.
“At any rate, in the case of Nigeria, my estimate is that 4G LTE coverage is currently available at no more than 10% of the landmass of the country.
“My sense is that it might take another generation before 5G is broadly available in Nigeria. As such, I would recommend that Nigerians ignore the discredited rumour that 5G poses a threat to human beings”.
As with new technologies, researches have been made and still ongoing on the negative effects of 5G network.
The only major effect peculiar to the 5G as at today is the production of heat. But no matter the future outcomes, the benefits will outweigh any identified challenges.