5g Phones – What You Need to Know


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The Federal government is now considering making 5G phones mandatory after the current 3G technology becomes obsolete in 2020. The decision to advance with 5G might have significant socio-economic impacts on developing countries around the world, especially for those which cannot afford essential technologies at their disposal.  According to FCC chairman Ajit Pai, “5G will be more than just fast download speeds for mobile devices; it will enable an entire suite of new innovations, including Internet of Things applications that will save lives.”(FCC) By encouraging higher adoption rates of cell phone usage, this policy could help improve the quality of life for people receiving reliable cellular service.  However, a major concern with regard to 5G technology is that it will place a large number of radio frequencies in the hands of the public- which has been shown to have detrimental health effects.

The FCC Chairman Ajit Pai clarifies that “5G isn’t just about faster cell phones. It’s also about connecting smart devices and infrastructure as never before.”(FCC) In order to connect all these technologies, cells would require high levels of frequency at regular intervals across the spectrum from low to higher bands including Gigahertz, Megahertz, and Terahertz. This can be accomplished by using a combination of mostly sub-6 GHz combined with some millimeter waves (mmW) between 30 GHz and 300 GHz. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set aside the 28 GHz, 39 GHz, and 64-71GHz bands for 5G use in order to bring more spectrum into the market that is able to meet the growing demand for these technologies.

According to FCC Chairman Pai, “5G will open up access to new wireless networks that are 10 to 100 times faster than what most people experience today.”(FCC) In order for this type of technology to be feasible, even remote areas would require a strong cell phone signal.  Developing countries that lack the infrastructure or resources needed to support existing cellular devices may have trouble meeting this standard due to a lack of technological advancements, especially in rural areas.

The ability for these technologies to support higher frequencies could allow cell phone companies to build new 5G networks with less infrastructure than existing 3G and 4G networks.  This is important in developing countries since it would encourage countries’ governments and institutions to provide improved cellular access. According to Ajit Pai, “I hope that we will connect all Americans with 5G, although I recognize this goal will not be achieved overnight.”(FCC) This plan has great potential of providing people in underserved communities the essential services they need like health care and educational resources; however, one major concern associated with advancing toward 5G technology is the lack of human clinical trials done on the effects of radiofrequency exposure at different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum including the smaller bands associated with 5G technology.

Advantages Of 5g Phone

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1. 5G phones will provide faster internet speeds for users.

2. 5g will connect more devices to the internet than 4g/LTE technology currently does 3. Low latency is expected with 5G, which would help fuel IoT applications such as self-driving cars and remote surgery.

Disadvantages Of 5g phone

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1. Radio Frequency exposure can be harmful to humans and insects and could lead to adverse health effects both in the short term and long term if proper safety guidelines are not followed 2. The 5G standard has unknown potential risks that might harm future generations if cellphones continue using radiofrequency technology for their data transfer source 3. 5g has greater power consumption than 4G/LTE network does, so devices may require additional battery power.

2. Risks Associated with 5G Technology

There are many unknown risks associated with 5G technology including the potential of a negative impact on human health due to Radio Frequency (RF) exposure.  Studies have shown that RF can affect living tissue because it penetrates all levels of biological tissue which may have adverse effects on human health. (Chen) In addition, insects, plants, and trees will also experience the same level of exposure. (DOC)

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