While selling 5G technology to the public as a means for faster downloads, Big Wireless — comprising a web of telecom companies, lobbyists and law firms– is spending millions to lobby governments the world over to implement the next generation of cellular technology because of its potential for data collection and surveillance of citizens.
by Derrick Broze
Part 2 - What is 5g?
Over the last couple years telecom companies and governments have spent billions of dollars promoting, marketing, and building the next generation of telecom technology, known as 5G, or 5th Generation. The telecom companies involved in various aspects of the 5G rollout include Crowd Castle, American Tower, and Towerstream on the infrastructure side, and Comcast, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T on the internet/mobile service provider side.
Beginning with the introduction of 1G in 1979, a new generation of cellular standards has appeared approximately every ten years. Each generation is characterized by new frequency bands, higher data rates and non–backward compatible transmission technology. As we move into the 2020’s, the shift to the 5th generation has begun. Beginning in late 2018, cities like Houston, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, San Diego, New York City, and Washington D.C. started deploying 5g for residential and commercial use.
While 5g is often touted as the solution to 4k movie downloads and virtual reality games, the new generation is also expected to herald the beginning of Smart Cities, where driverless cars, traffic lights, pollution sensors, smart phones and countless other smart devices interact in what is known as “The Internet of Things.” The IoT has raised alarm bells for some privacy advocates because it will involve surrounding the public with hundreds of thousands of interconnected devices and sensors which are gathering mass amounts of data that will be used for public advertising and monitoring of habits. 5G infrastructure will be the backbone to the IoT.
The switch from 4g to 5g is a change unlike those of previous generations. One notable difference is that 5G technology uses much higher frequencies, ranging from 10-300 GHZ. Currently, 4G wireless systems operate on 700 to 2700 MHz. 5g is using millimeter waves which do not travel far and are easily blocked by trees, buildings, and walls. Due to the nature of mm waves the FCC has stated that for 5G to operate successfully it will require the installation of hundreds of thousands of new cell sites, towers, and additions to existing infrastructure.
Due largely to the concerns about this exponential increase in towers (and the subsequent exposure to radiofrequency radiation) the 5G roll out has been opposed by thousands of doctors, scientists, health professionals, and even the U.S. military and branches of the U.S. government. The movement against the 5G roll out also sparked a global day of protest in January and April 2020.
Meanwhile, nations like Sweden, Slovenia, and cities like Brussels, Belgium have decided to ban or temporarily halt the roll out of the new infrastructure until further health studies are conducted.