5G and it’s rollout. Should we be worried?

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  • With 5G well on its way to being how we surf the net, buy fuel, navigate our way and possibly 6G in the future. Should I/we be worried about health issues? Privacy? Industrial espionage? Future military conflicts?

    Some years ago scare stories about “smart meters” using 5G begin to appear on the internet.
    Claims that potential harm from close proximity to these transmitters could result in health issues, human cell damage etc. But we heard the same said about cell phones on 2G. These scare stories seem to have been disproved with all but a few susceptible people.
    So is there a need to be concerned with 5G?

    Privacy is another issue. I’m apposed to wall to wall CCTV coverage in most public spaces, although I can see some advantages from a security/law enforcement point of view. Will 5G make CCTV more invasive with things like widespread facial recognition, pin point location, voice recording, freedom of movement etc?

    National security and foreign interference. This could be a real issue with world politics, terrorism and espionage. But I don’t see this being much of a problem (to me) unless SHTF. In this case alternative forms of communication could be relied on to a point. Governments and military will have concern with this surely, but will they except its part of the course in using this technology and try to reduce risks accordingly?

    Is the dark web all it’s cracked up to be and should we/I be making more use of it?

    Any useful links to share, that can shine light on the above issues?

    I’m not about to become paranoid about 5G or pissed off that hackers have shut down power grids or traffic lights or my computer say’s “No.” I generally get by off grid and have a hundred and one ways to boil water, cook food, make, mend and get by. But we live in a fragile technically advanced world and most of the time a machine code is hiding my money. But your views will help me build a clearer picture of this evolving world I’m lingering in.

  • Whether we're worried or not its coming. Its unlikely to be a countrywide network for everyone for at least 10 years. Many rural areas still only have reliable 2G and sporadic 3G and 4G is just dreamland.

    Most large population centres and infrastructure here will have 5G but the rest will have the same sporadic 4G. It also requires updating personal technology devices to 5G capability which is expensive.

    It will be invaluable for extending health services and online consultations to more rural areas and rural businesses need to be able to compete globally on the latest technology as well as those in city so 5G will get rolled out faster than 4G has but im not expecting things to change overnight as they seem to be hyping at the moment.

    Being a technology fan im always interested in new gizmos and capabilities but 5 G is only really going to benefit businesses and the operators primarily because they can push way more data through the same networks without bottlenecks and clogged servers. The only advantage to users is you can watch films stream games and upload/ download files pretty much instantly with virtually no latency. Ok if youre a gamer or film buff or like making video content to upload instantly to various platforms or use bio monitoring to an OCD level....but otherwise you dont need it.What is in place already will serve most users perfectly fine.

    Most smart meters and similar devices use 2G,theyre likely to continue to use that technology standard.In fact 2 G is likely to be a standard that will stick around long after 3 G is phased out. Its being used for meters, GPS locators and is a better technology for call and text in remote rural locations. The emergency services are keen to keep it so its going nowhere fast. EE are currently upgrading the national 999 network to ensure there is nowhere in the country you cannot make an emergency call by mobile using 2G 3G primarily.

    As for health risks,of course theres risk. The human body is driven by an electrical system of its own and any electromagnetic radiation from any source is going to have some influence. Theres a strong correlation between incidence of coronary and stroke events from solar and cosmic radiation peaks. Devices interfere with pacemakers and unshielded aircraft electronics so theyll interfere with ours.

    2G devices were found to cause health issues despite them saying there was no risk and device transmitter wattage was substantially reduced from 8w to 2w or less to reduce health risk.

    Individual devices on their own may not be a health issue but millions of them and a massive network of them immersing everyone in radio emissions is not good and in some locations theres going to situatiins where theres pools of very high emf and no one will know where they are or how its affecting us long term.

    Theres been evidence hushed up that mast engineers are often sick from exposure.Hiw true this is hard to know.

    We like the technology though so we are going to carry on using it. Hopefully in years to come we won't discover its like smoking or fast food and has caused irreparable damage. Its no coincidence that EMF weaponry and neurodisrupters have been developed by the military to incapacitate and kill people.

    Security? That's really down to individuals and their lax attitude to personal data security and is not specific to any network standard. 5G uses ultra high speed data transmission but if your personal security is dire,your passwords are predictable etc youre going to get hacked just the same.

    Privacy? I agree im no fan of having camera's everywhere and being under surveillance 24/7 but that really depends on how its used and regulated and that applies to any technology standard.

    I think we all resent being watched by the authorities but we all want them to be able to keep us safe from terrorists or criminals and to be able to catch perpetrators so i think we are going to have to accept it.

    Its a bit silly of us complaining about being under surveillance in a CCTV society when we as a society load billions of hours of personal videos onto the net in form of dashcam footage,leisure activities,home life events,aerial footage from drones,personal bodycams,petcams,selfies and amateur porn.

    Our society we live in voluntarily uploads far more information to the internet to social media than could ever be gathered by government or public cctv.

    People will continue doing that, we've technically already given away our right to privacy.

    Personally ive lived in both manual and digital worlds and although i like the technology based lifestyle it wouldnt bother me much if it all disappeared.

    There is a lot to be said for simplicity and being dependent only on yourself and your abilities and not on the technology that controls everything.

  • Thanks NRT. Appreciate your comprehensive reply. I’m unlikely to get 5G for years to come around here or 4G for that matter. I struggle to get 2 bars Phone signal on good days with 02, which is really why Im interested in the G’s. I was/am considering upgrading my phone to a smartphone and network provider that has more area coverage. I probably send average of 3 txt a day and speak once a week on my phone. Hugue aversion to talking on phones unless it’s business. So any risk to myself is limited, but that’s not to say I should be complacent with rollout electrical pollution if unannounced.
    3G has improved some for Internet, but I have to be at the front window of the waggon for that.
    Both carboots I frequent are in poor signal reception areas and the internet would be useful for checking going prices. Even though I get a buzz discovering what bargains I’ve picked up, after researching prices back at my wagon with a cup of tea. I also realise what “should” have been bought too.

    I get 10gb allowance with my phone tariff, but so far not using any of it and there are so many useful apps like plant ID, barcode readers, maps I could make use of from time to time.

    Apparently Smart meters aren’t in operation locally due to poor phone reception.

    I do like the idea of remote sensing and property surveillance, and future fast, free-ish broadband would be useful for that, and for checking the horse is still in the paddock and my gaffs ok when I’m out. Not that strangers go unnoticed around here.

    Over Christmas I saw lots of adverts on TV, showing folk getting video calls from their own doorbell. Advertising for personal home security. But that’s just commercial selling for us, along with summer holidays and Easter eggs.

    Have you come across (FAkE) Fair Access Kilobyte Equity? Apparently a 5G provider agreement between US and the EU?

    I’ve found only this link on YouTub

    and will it be of any use to us, with or without a trade agreement?

  • Network technology is not a straightforward subject with a simple answer,its very complicated and they all tend to use different frequencies which influences how good your network is,on top of any local issues like mast coverage,topography,interference,buildings,trees (trees in leaf absorb radio signal more than bare trees),weather (humidity and cloud cover),if its summer or winter etc etc

    Unless you live in a top major city,5G is not going to be any use to you for quite a long time so its not even worth considering. 4G is getting better coverage but its still patchy or non existent especially in rural areas. Huge tracts where i live in Warwickshire and Oxfordshire have no 4G and 3 G is poor and its been pretty poor wherever i travelled hence why ive got so many gizmos and aerials to boost reception.

    2G replaced the original cellular radiotelephone technology of early cellphones and has a limited data packet capability for texts and SMS and sending small packets of data like your smart meter would send and gps locators use it to to send their gps location.

    The advantage of it is its low frequency band around 800mhz which has a reasonable good range and will penetrate obstacles like buildings and not badly affected by terrain or trees cover. T mobile and Orange which are now EE and concentrated on rural customer services as did 3 whereas bt cellnet (now o2) and vodafone were only really interested in urban customers and infrastructure routes so is why EE and 3 are generally better in rural areas. EE was chosen to build a national integrated emergency comms system to cover every part of the UK which has meant building 400 new masts and integrating all networks mast coverage. So when its finished,all emergency services and coastguard mountain rescue lowland rescue,cave and mine rescue will be linked and you should be able to make an emergency call no matter where you are in the UK.

    3G is a newer technology for integrated call and data service which is what made smartphones and normal mobile Internet possible. Its capapable of data packets,high speed data packets and streaming data as well as calls and 4G is a higher standard again capable of high speed streaming data services fast enough to watch video or play games online with no freezing or latency (lag)

    The problem with 3 and 4 G is they both mostly used high frequency bands 1600mhz up to 2600 mhz which has a shorter range and poor building or obstacle penetration so to get a good coverage more masts are needed.

    5G will use 3400mhz which will need all current masts to be completely upgraded as there are very few operating that frequency range and more of them which is why the proposal was put forward to use churches and other community buildings to install additional short range transmitters to increase local coverage. Its a big problem hence why 5G wont be available fast.

    4 G services are improving faster because providers are now using additional frequency range around 800mhz for 4G services that was originally used for UHF analogue tv before it went all digital and now freed up for mobike networks so 4G in some rural areas is improving but its still pot luck where you are.

    The only way to assess if your service is good is check the service coverage pages of each network provider and see whether you have decent coverage from one or more of them.

    EE and 3 tend to be the better rural provders and best for data pricing. For instance 20gb of data a month on EE PAYG costs me 25 quid. O2 data is reasonably priced also but service here is pretty crap. Giffgaff is good but uses O2 network so fir me that option is out. EE do bigger data limits on contract as do vodafone.

    I have two smartphones and i virtually never make calls or send texts i just use them for internet and the apps i use on them.

    I use them both via a wifi from my 4G home network modem as both phones wont pick up a strong enough signal to work properly where i live whereas the network modem does (its got a better antenna) I can watch movies or stream any media on 4 G which is impossible using the phones.

    That option might be one for you if you have poor reception in your area Steve.

    It also very much depends on the handset capabilities for signal reception. Newer phones tend to have better internal antenna technology. Neither my Sony or Alcatel are any good where i live until im out on the main road. Xiaomi Cubot Samsung Iphone Huawei and later Sony phones seem to be pretty good for poor reception areas.

    Internet USB Dongles and Mifi network modems and 4G home network modems are much better at signal reception than mobile phones are.

    Knowing some of your interests i think youd probably benefit from a smartphone purely from the apps you can get to use on them. I use mine mostly for weather, emergency medicine, mapping, bushcraft,photography and video so full of apps to help in those interests,but theres apps for literally every subject. I never text or call anyone with phones, I use Telegram or Whatsapp or Skype so the calks ir text's come in the data allowance and negligible cost.

    You can easily integrate remote wifi cameras or intrusion sensors,weather monitoring or many other sensory inputs to mobile phones now,you just need an app off one of the stores to do it.

    Ive got cameras i can monitor via my phone. I also fly a couple of drones via my phone too and my weather monitoring sensirs are linked to it. There isnt much you cant link to smartphones these days.

    As for FAKE i know the US and EU have tried to level the playing field over 5G market access and service provision, but theres no way anyone can access genuine 5G without the technology (masts and a 5G service and 5G capable phone) Anyone who promises that is just telling you lies. The US and far east and China is at least 10 years ahead of us as far asm 4 and 5 G service goes.Plenty of Europe is too. We can thank Thatcher for that because she never believed mobile phones would catch on..duh! So the radio frequency networks would use were never sorted out till the 90's. Most of Europe is way ahead of us even if we have one of the highest mobile dependent societies in the world.

  • Thanks again NRT. I’ve had my sonim S1 (landrover) phone for best part of 8 years. I just can’t kill it and works fine in suburbia even if I have to stand on tiptoe and repeat every other sentence in phone conversations. I have a spare battery, so standby time is great. I dropped my iPhone in a skip full of water when skip diving 2 years ago. I’m considering buying a secondhand IPhone 7plus 128gb off a mate, but the physical size is putting me off. I like the camera spec and functions. Not sure it’s the phone for me but available apps would mop up the 10gb I’m just not using at present.

    My free pikey internet method is also a option. Using the wifi outdoor omni antenna I bought at a yard sale some years ago.
    During the night the farmer parks his tractor just behind the hedgerow and he leaves the farm wifi live in there. The tractor wireless modem is cradled on the tractor dashboard and I can clearly read the wifi password on the back through the windscreen. Since he’s extended the cowshed with a new machinery store. He’s left his fleet of tractors there. Half decent internet (although some buffering depending) but certainly the cheapest way to watch youtube. I do have to use my own 3G dongle during harvest (only joking) for most online browsing. :whistle:

  • Free wifi is defnately a bonus if youve got access lol.If you were using a phone to monitor cameras on its wifi it wouldnt be using your data allowance (or anyone elses)

    Also most apps dont use much data. Its video or image content that eats up data,so things like Youtube or instagram Pinterest etc will use up more data quickly.

    Vodafone do a sim card called voxi that uses their network and social media browsing on certain social media sites is completely free.

    If you dont actually need or use a phone then maybe a small 4G capable 7" tablet might be better.

    You should steer clear of small resolution screens these days as most apps and content are engineered fir larger displays now.Also avoid older operating software models ie older than Android 5 or IOS 6 as support for them is ceasing and therefore security patch updates not being sent out so app developers eont support their apps on older versions.

    Also,make sure any phone you buy has a large internal memory irrespective of any SD card supported as many of the system apps take up huge amounts of internal memory.For instance my Alcatel i bought as a spare standbybphone has an 8gb internal memory but 6gb of thst space is taken up by system apps 2gb are google crap and the rest is factory shit installed that i cant remove unless i root the phone so im limited to how many apps i can install on it. The onky advantage was it was brand new 2 yr old phone and costvl £220.

    Even if some apps will move to SD card a large part of those apps has to occupy the internal memory to function so get a smartphone ( or tablet) with absolute minimum 16gb internal memory if youre planning to install many of the common apps available.