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Introducing 5G: Where’s the Truth?

Dinara Inkarbekova
managing partner at Sigma Capital, independent director at KCELL JSC

Lately the internet has been full of discussions about 5G mobile networks being harmful to health. Followers of this new conspiracy theory mention the influence of 5G networks in conjunction with the emergence of COVID-19, insisting that radio frequencies are destroying people’s immune systems, not the virus. In the middle of spring this year, vandals started torching telecommunication towers in Great Britain. More than 77 towers were burned down, and most of them didn’t even have the equipment to support mobile networks of the fifth generation.

Hence, in this article, I propose to delve into the matter and determine the benefits and harm of 5G networks.

So what is 5G? These are the new generation networks which provide high data transfer speeds. For example, using 5G, any movie can be downloaded in a minute. The 5G standard will pave the way for increased usage of the IoT (Internet of things) technologies. With technologies like smart homes and smart cities, people will lead safer and more convenient lives while saving resources. 5G has the potential to improve accessibility of healthcare services and generally increase life expectancy. The mere possibility of using robotic surgery opens up incredible prospects for the medicine of the future. With the help of 5G, agriculture will develop more actively to meet the needs of the constantly growing population of the planet. 5G will be able to provide real-time data on many environmental factors without interruptions, thus increasing crop yield. And the list is not complete: 5G can also be used in industry, energy production and military defense.

As we can see, the 5G standard can radically change the life of humankind.

As for the impact on health, namely, the radiation from the new 5G technology, one needs to understand first and foremost that radiation can be ionizing and non-ionizing. Ionizing radiation, e.g. UV rays, X-rays and gamma rays, does pose a threat to humans. However, 5G networks have nothing to do with that since they use low-frequency non-ionizing radio waves, which are safe for live organisms. The new generation of mobile communications is subject to modern international safety standards approved by international organizations. Since the dawn of time people have always been afraid of the new, and so talk about the dangers of 5G is nothing more but fear of innovation.

In reality, one of the main challenges for the adoption of 5G is the need for multi-billion-dollar investments in supporting infrastructure.

Currently, more than 50 commercial 5G networks are being deployed in 27 countries, and more than 300 mobile operators have announced that they intend to invest in 5G in 100 countries. Kazakhstan, in turn, is seeing successful testing of the 5G technology by Kazakhtelecom JSC.

That’s why, despite the rather peculiar clamor around this subject, the emergence of a technology like 5G, without doubt, can become a platform for the next technological leap in the development of society.

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