What Is 5G – How Does It Work?

There is much to understand about how 5G works and how it is going to impact our world. Here is a guest article from Scott (just to say I don't always agree with what guest writers say, and you are free to express your opinion below in the comments):

The innovation, called 5G technology, is attracting more and more attention and is expected to revolutionize mobile technology. 5G differs from 3G and 4G in that the network is used in a package, not just in specific areas or domains. In other words: once everything is connected to 5G, then working without 5G will be impossible.

Thus, the danger of someone breaking into the system and stealing the data is huge and the technology is part of the critical infrastructure. It is also the reason why we are increasingly wondering about the disadvantages of 5G.

What is 5G?

This is a new type of technology for mobile networks. It can transmit information much faster than 4G – the technology that many of us use to access the Internet. Many new technologies have been used to make 5G work. However, the standards for the 5G protocol are still in the process of being developed and have not yet reached their final form.

5G uses high frequencies – from 3.5 GHz to 26 GHz and more, which have a very high capacity. They have a shorter wavelength. This means that their range of distribution is smaller (they cover a smaller area).

This is how 5G offers higher speeds and lower latency, but less geographic coverage per base station. But it will also lead to a larger number of “small cells” with less power that will be installed in 5G areas.

This, in turn, raises many concerns about the 5G frequency dangers. Read more about the dangers of 5G radiation. 

5G Is Not Only About Mobile Phones

 5G will have an impact on every Internet-connected device, not just smartphones. Technology will be vital for autonomous vehicles, which must communicate from around the world without delay. Low latency and higher network capacity will mean that cars will be able to communicate faster than before, making them fully autonomous.

5G everywhere in the city

Consumer electronics such as wearable devices, virtual reality, desktops, smart devices will improve dramatically, thanks to 5G. Even everyday activities such as social networking and video calling will change significantly.

How does the 5G network work?

Next-generation networks will use MIMO(multiple-input and multiple-output)1 technology and advanced ICT infrastructure. It uses a set of small antennas (such as Wi-Fi routers instead of large towers) that control each data stream.

In turn, this will make the whole network stronger. Each user will be served by a small 5G tower, which eliminates the problem of congestion of the available spectrum with many competing devices. Each antenna will be responsible for only one device.

In the past, obstacles and distances have created problems with wireless connectivity.

Does 5G give much more?

During MWC 2019 in February, we witnessed the first live operation in which doctors took advantage of the advantages of 5G. The doctor who operated consulted a surgeon who was in a completely different place. He managed to pass instructions and the operation was successful. High-definition streaming and sophisticated patient imaging can bring health professionals into any home.

As for autonomous cars, we probably won't see great results for many, if any, years. But 5G is seen as a facilitator and accelerator for self-driving cars when it comes to communication, latency, and bandwidth.

Speed and capacity

5G can theoretically achieve 100 times faster speeds than the current 4G / LTE network. The maximum possible speed in 5G is 20,000 MBit/s for downloading and 10,000 Mbit / s for uploading information. This is a major advantage when transferring large amounts of data.

An important advantage of 5G is that the new generation will allow much more capacity for mobile networks. This means that the new networks will be able to support more connected devices than previous generations. 5G supports up to 1,000,000 devices per square kilometer.

The new network is the engine of the Internet of Things (IoT). With it, we will be able to connect the refrigerator to the smartphone, traffic lights, and lighting of a city with its municipality.

What are the disadvantages of 5G technology?

The very high frequency of the signals is of great importance. With it, 5G will be able to achieve incredible bandwidth. This technology will be able to have a huge number of people (devices) connected at the same time and receive and send immeasurably larger amounts of data. But where are the pitfalls? Aren't there any disadvantages and disadvantages?

The vulnerability of telecom services and infrastructure

With the development of innovations in the field, more and more disadvantages of 5G technology2 come to light. There are imperfections in the equipment, especially within the consumer products, as well as weaknesses in the administration by the authorities.

These vulnerabilities of 5G can allow an attacker to damage the telecom's infrastructure, deactivate it, spy on its customers, or divert traffic.

With 5G Your Data Will Be More Vulnerable
Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Countries need to build their capacity for objective assessment and approval of both 5G suppliers and telecom users. In this way, they will detect problems in time that need to be corrected.

Problems with personal data protection and user security

When it comes to privacy, things get more complicated. The advent of 5G with its small range will mean that telecom cells will be more densely located in shopping malls and buildings. With the right set of tools, someone can manage to track the exact location of users.

Another serious disadvantage of 5G is that providers of such services will have wide access to large amounts of data sent by consumer devices. Such data may disclose confidential information to users, but may also be manipulated and misused.

In various cases, vulnerabilities can cause real injuries. Take, for example, medical devices that can be turned off remotely. Thus, they will no longer function, which opens the door to many threats.

There would be even greater threats from the risks to critical infrastructure elements related to water and electricity supply.

Risk of expanding critical infrastructure

5G will support the spread of communications in more geographical areas and equip non-network devices with remote monitoring and control technology. Increasing the number of systems with these capabilities is helpful.

However, this can also make non-critical infrastructure critical and therefore extend risk exposure. In general, people are tempted to accept convenience and constant communication, but in cases of real threats, public order can be threatened.

New phones

You will most likely need to buy a new phone to take advantage of the security and reliability promised by 5G. However, if you pick up your phone and don't want to spend extra money, your current 4G phone will continue to work.

You may have to pay more for the 5G service. It is not clear what the new plans will be, but all the main suppliers will likely be highly competitive to keep their customers.

As a whole, you will receive what you pay for. The good service will mean that you will have to pay more than you do now.

New rules, new infrastructure – who will pay?

One of the main issues with 5G is that building new infrastructure is mandatory. As you already know, the base stations of this technology will be different. They will operate on other frequencies that consume less energy.

If in previous decades, communications companies built large towers or cell stations to spread the signal in an area, 5G networks would change that. Instead of building entire towers, suppliers will most likely start installing the miniature new cells directly on existing telephone lines and buildings. The 5G cells will have a range of about 250 meters in each direction. Users will connect to it via a wireless modem (phone or another device). Thanks to the huge advantages such as speed and channel width, home users will probably no longer need any internet cables.

However, because the millimeter waves of the 5G signal have lower penetrating power than the 4G, providers need to create a much denser infrastructure. Or like Wi-Fi3, 5G will require more base stations at a closer distance to provide users with speed. And this thing will cost … money. Lots of money. For larger countries like the United States, that means investments in the range of between $20 billion and $30 billion. For which the user will eventually pay.

The dangers to human health and the environment

Similar to previous generations, the 5G network will also generate electromagnetic radiation4. Many members of the community are concerned about the potential impact on health and the environment that this could have.

What exactly is the risk of 5G networks and radiofrequency waves

Radiation is the emission of energy from all sources. This means that even the heat coming from your body is considered radiation. But some forms of radiation can cause diseases. Larger wavelengths with lower frequencies are less powerful (non-ionizing), while smaller wavelengths at higher frequencies are more hazardous.

Ionizing radiation, which includes ultraviolet rays, X-rays, and gamma rays, is a dangerous form. The energy from ionizing radiation can damage atoms. It is known that they break the chemical bonds in the DNA. This can damage the cells and cause damage. This is why the FDA warns against unnecessary X-rays. Therefore, exposure to the sun can cause skin damage.

The non-ionizing radiation has lower frequencies and longer wavelengths. It does not produce enough energy to break the chemical bonds of DNA. Examples include radio frequency or radio frequency broadcasting, such as FM radio, television signals, and mobile phones, which use wireless devices.

The micro and millimeter radiation that the 5G service will use, is considered non-ionizing and does not produce the kind of energy that it emits. Frequently used devices, such as Wi-Fi routers, garage door sensors, airport security, and radio stations, use similar low-frequency microwaves.

Does 5G radiation cause cancer?

Some experts suspect that radiation from 5G devices can damage cells through another biological mechanism which leads to inflammation. It has been established that this process causes diabetes, cardiovascular, neurological, and lung diseases.

The results from the thousands of 5G health studies conducted5 over the last two decades have been controversial. Most of the studies which deal with the innovative mobile services in the radiofrequency area do not show the connection between these services and cancer development.

(see this article on Cell Tower Radiation and Cancer)

Many organizations also believe that if such radiation is sufficiently large, it can produce heat. This can lead to burns and tissue damage. However, they acknowledge that most of the conducted studies had significant limitations, which leaves some doubt.

5G and the concerns of environmentalists

Although they have several benefits for humans, many modern technologies harm the environment. The impact of 5G on nature is also being studied. However, it is quite difficult to determine the impact of increased radio frequencies, as well as 5G environmental impact6.

Frequently asked questions

What are the disadvantages of 5G?

The advantages of this type of innovation are indisputable. At the same time, however, we should not turn a blind eye to the serious concerns of scientists and society about the problems of 5G.

Several issues related to the security of people's data, the impact on nature, as well as the expensive infrastructure for this new technology have not yet been resolved.

Why is 5G bad for the environment?

The biggest problem with 5G is the antennas needed to use the technology. 5G airwaves do not travel long distances like 4G. This means that a huge number of new antennas will have to be installed, close to each other, leading to a good range.

dead nature because of 5G
Photo by Stanislav Ferrao on Unsplash

More antennas mean more radiation. Nobody likes the idea of it. But whether 5G is dangerous to humans and the environment, I will say, depends on what you believe. More than 200 scientists from 40 different countries say it is harmful.

Does 5G need a phone?

Most likely yes. But when 4G was introduced in 2009 and 2010, compatible phones appeared even before the technology was fully implemented. This has caused some consumers to feel dissatisfied with paying more for fragmented services.

This time, phone manufacturers do not want to make the same mistake, and new devices only start to appear once the technology is ready and applicable for mass use. The concept is for these mobile phones to be able to switch between 4 and 5G for a more secure service.

(To know more about this I suggest you this article on 5G cell tower dangers.)


5G communication offers many advantages, for example for medical research, which will benefit from having such extremely high connectivity. 5G is the main technology for the Internet of Things, where machines communicate with each other.

However, many people are concerned about the lack of sufficient information on 5G and fear that the new technology could also pose new threats to human, animal, and environmental health.

Many thanks to Scott for this guest post.

Scott - EMF Guard

Scott has had a lot of health issues in the past and it took him a while until he realized it was all because of the EMF pollution.

Since then, he does research on a daily basis about EMF radiation, EMF hypersensitivity, EMF protection, EMF home shielding and most recently about the 5G network.

He has created his blog where he shares facts and studies https://emf-guard.com/emf-dangers

Sources and Bibliography

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIMO

2 https://uk.pcmag.com/cell-phone-service-providers/82400/what-is-5g

3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi

4 https://www.livescience.com/38169-electromagnetism.html

5 https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2020/646172/EPRS_BRI(2020)646172_EN.pdf

6 https://jsis.washington.edu/news/what-will-5g-mean-for-the-environment/

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  • Sam said,

    My question: with 5G using frequencies up to 26 GHz, do shielding fabrics even exist that will block EMF that high? Does anyone know of any fabrics tested to block 5G at these high frequencies?

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