5G, Good or Bad Technology?

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The world of telecommunications is currently entering a new era, the 5G era. The 5G telecommunications network promises surfing speeds that far surpass previous generations. It is even said that download speeds are 5-10 times faster than 4G generation networks.

Although in Indonesia the implementation of 5G has not been able to spread massively. However, in 2022 Indonesia will open a 5G frequency band auction while releasing its services. Here are some facts that cover some of the advantages of the 5G telecommunications network.

  1. 5GBps speed open signal mentions that 5G can reach download speeds of 5GB per second. This speed is 357 times faster than the 4G network. In addition, 5G has a wider mobile network capacity. Citing the International Telecommunications Union, the 5G network can accommodate one million devices per square kilometer.
  2. Entering all aspects of life with high speed, high capacity for each network, and low latency, this makes 5G will not only be used by smartphones alone. This network will be used by all smart devices.This will also be used in consumer technology such as smart household devices (example: Google Home, Amazon Alexa, smart lamp, etc.), VR headsets, PCs, and many others.What’s more, it could be that social media and long distance conferences will also be affected well, so that more work will be done remotely, and consultations in any field can be carried out between countries.

Behind every advantage offered by the 5G network there are several issues and controversies that circulate that accompany the widespread use of the 5G network. Following are some of the controversies covering the 5G network.

  1. Expensive price. CEO of US Telco giant Sprint quoted Mashable as saying that the price of a 5G data package would cost 20 dollars to 30 dollars in the US, or 300 to 400 thousand rupiah.But the high price will increasingly subside as more users use and devices that support the use of the 5G network.
  2. Danger of 5G Frequency BandsThe frequency band that was auctioned in Indonesia, according to the Director General of SDPPI of the Ministry of Communication and Information Denny Setiawan namely 3.5 GHz, 26 GHz and 28 GHz. In these frequencies there are millimeter waves which, if a large number can cause undesirable things. However, a frequency of 30Hz will not carry waves that will harm humans. Infrared rays that follow in these waves are not dangerous.

The second issue concerning health is the issue most widely associated with the existence of the 5G network. Some institutions and companies in the world say, 5G can be dangerous for living things and the environment. The experts also have a variety of different opinions in response to this.

In April, the Belgian government stopped testing 5G in Brussels for fear that radiation from the Base Transceiver Station (BTS) would be harmful to the public. Members of Parliament in the Netherlands also asked the government to assess the dangers of 5G. The State of the United States (US), New Hampshire also plans to establish a commission tasked with studying the impact of 5G on health.

However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said there was no need to worry about 5G. “Because, most studies have not found an association between radio frequency signals from cellphones or BTS and disease,” as quoted by CNET, some time ago (6/20).

Different view was expressed by the Head of Radiation Dosimetry UK Public Health England (PHE) Simon Mann. He said, 5G can damage the brain and fertility. “There is a possibility of a small increase in overall radio wave exposure when 5G is added to the telecommunications network,” he was quoted as saying by the Daily Record.

He hopes 5G radiation exposure to humans remains low. Therefore, the PHE Spokesperson also emphasized that his institution would oversee the use of 5G in his country in accordance with International Committee guidelines related to Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

There are groups who think that the 5G network can have a negative impact on health. Their assumption is based on National Toxicology Program research conducted by the US Health Service regarding the relationship between high 2G and 3G radiation and liver cancer in male rats.

Although these conclusions do not explain the relationship between cell phone radiation and cancer for humans, fear of 5G networks is also based on the absence of research related to biological safety in the use of 5G. Martin Pall, a biochemistry professor at Washington State University, considers that the application of the 5G network does not yet have a biological safety test.

“Placing tens of millions of 5G antennas without a single biological safety test,” Pall said, as reported by CNET. “That is the dumbest idea ever in world history,” he continued.

The second group are those who consider that fear of the 5G network is an unscientific conclusion. Kenneth Foster, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, said that those who criticize 5G take the facts at will and forget that there has not been much research into the biological effects of using 5G networks.

In 2017, international radio frequency expert from the University of Helsinki, Dariusz Leszczynski, said the 5G network could have a bad impact on the skin or eyes. “Apparently, we are experiencing deja vu, because in the early 1980s we thought that low-power transmitter technology would be safe. Thirty years later it seems that it might be carcinogenic (cause cancer), “he said.

Besides humans, 5G is considered dangerous for other living things and the environment. AFP reported, a study in 2010 showed that electromagnetic signals emitted from telecommunication network towers – including 5G – had the potential to confuse birds and insects. Because these radio waves disturb the magnetic sensors used by birds and insects to migrate.

This resulted in disturbed, breeding season and egg laying. In the medium to long term, this is feared to reduce bird and insect populations. In addition, electromagnetic radiation is said to have helped disrupt plant growth.

Not only that, electromagnetic radiation also disrupts the growth of some plants. Metabolism from plants will be disrupted due to radiation exposure.

Head of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Neil Jacobs said 5G disrupts the transmission of weather satellite data. As a result, the accuracy of weather forecasts has decreased. The reason is, the frequency of a 5G millimeter network is in the 24GHz spectrum or is considered too close to a microwave satellite, which serves to detect weather changes.

Ultimately it is up to us to determine for ourselves whether this new technology that offers many advantages can be widely used and implemented. based on many data from the results of research conducted, it can be taken into consideration whether this technology can bring more positive things than negative things.

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