5G-enabled devices and networks can bring as much change in telecommunications as cable TV brought to the media in the ’50-60s. But health, environmental and security concerns accompany the so-called fourth industrial revolution, and they are not just about the nosy Chinesemen and Huawei.
The fifth generation of global networks are being introduced in Korea, the US and China (in that order) as we speak. A few weeks and you can pre-order one of the first smartphones with 5G modules.
The Internet of Things may come with a price.
As the high-frequency 5G will be able to connect just about everything in real-time and with minimal latency, it will change the ’wiredness’ experience forever.
More prudent voices warn that the larger interconnectedness is inevitably a source of the larger security risks. Big data is the big business. 5G network owners, operators and service providers can clandestinely access and commercially exchange volumes of information they never dreamed about before.
The fear from Huawei and China by US officials goes as far as charges for industrial espionage and sabotage. Others emphasize the vulnerability of the infrastructure and the possible consequences of a widespread failure, or attack.
The widely available wireless systems of today connect only a few devices at the same time. Prepare for saturated airwave environment where countless interconnected gadgets: devices, chips, sensors, cameras and other appliances are ’emitting’ and exchanging data constantly. It’s estimated that data traffic through mobile networks will get five times higher in five years.
No more secrets
As ELUXE’s Jody McCutcheon pointed out so pertinently, the known and loved mobile broadband networks have been built to satisfy the needs of the users. 5G on the other hand will serve primarily AI, the machines (because what else is able to sort out that volume of data), and companies/state actors that are in Big Data for their own reasons. 5G may be a Pandora’s box of troubles mankind hasn’t experienced before.
Another aspect of the 5G concerns is technical. High-frequency millimeter waves don’t travel well through obstacles. A 5G infrastructure is more dense by necessity. This means that wireless micro-emitters of radiofrequency-radiation (RFR) will be everywhere.
The mother of all electric smog
And this mother of all electric smog is not meant for the carbon-based lifeforms. RFR is connected to brain tumors, cancer and declining animal/plant health. With 5G we may build something again we don’t the know the full scope of consequences of.