What is 5G? How is 5G different from earlier generations of wireless technology?

5G refers to the fifth generation of mobile telecommunication technology. Like 4G and other predecessor technologies, 5G technologies use radiofrequency radiation (RFR) to transmit and receive information.

A key difference between 5G and other generations of cell technology is that 5G utilizes higher RFR frequency ranges. For example, while 4G networks used frequencies up to 2.5 gigahertz (GHz), 5G networks in the US currently use 28 GHz. The higher-frequencies used by 5G has several major implications:

Data will travel through networks faster and more data can be transmitted at the same time, leading to higher wireless service speeds, and a capacity to support more devices on the same network.
Higher frequencies, which equate to shorter wavelengths, interact with the environment differently. The RFR used by 5G penetrates materials – and people – to a lesser extent, and produces a signal that remains effect over a shorter range. As a result, 5G networks will require more antennas and denser infrastructure than 4G and other networks.
5G networks can include beam-forming technology which can direct signals to specific locations or devices, instead of diffusing the signal over a general area. This capability can allow for faster communication rates as it separates transmissions on the same frequency band, reducing the number of devices sharing a signal on one frequency band and reducing interference.
Source: International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)* - 5G Radiofrequency - RF EMF

*ICNIRP is a non-profit international scientific organization which assesses the risk of non-ionizing radiation (such as cellular/wireless technology) exposure and provides exposure guidance. ICNIRPs guidance has been adopted by national governments and international organizations, including the World Health Organization.

Why do some people oppose a general roll-out of 5G?

Some oppose a broad implementation of 5G technology ...

  • health
  • aesthetics