The fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, commonly called 5G, is on a lot of people’s minds these days. Ever since it was announced several years ago that it would be coming our way, there has been both excitement and apprehension about its proposed benefits and any unintended, unanticipated consequences.
Many people don’t really know what 5G truly is, how it’s different than previous generations of wireless technology, and what its implementation means for humanity and our planet. You may have heard of some of its perks through the extensive marketing campaign that ramped up last year, but may not understand the inner workings. Most importantly of all, the potential deleterious health effects of 5G have started to circulate all throughout the internet, but many do not understand the mechanism of harm upon living organisms, and what they can do to protect themselves.
With this article, we intend to explain 5G in as much detail as possible, without getting unnecessarily technical and missing or diluting the main points.
We will discuss how it’s different, the proposed uses for the technology and the way that many imagine it will change society, the potential downsides and negative consequences of its implementation, the current studies that point towards damaging health effects of extremely high frequencies (microwaves, as well as centimeter and millimeter waves), and what you can do to protect yourself as this technology ushers in huge change to the fabric of society and exposes us to exponentially increased levels of radiofrequency radiation.
The History of Wireless Technology
Let’s briefly cover the history of cellular networks and broadband technology, from 0G to 4G, to provide some background information.
In the 1970’s, the “mobile radio telephone”, which before this point was mainly a large installation in vehicles that required switchboard operators to connect your calls, became a smaller device that was possible to carry with you and no longer required switchboard operators. At the time, this was pretty revolutionary, as I’m sure you can imagine. This is referred to as 0G (Zero G).
In 1981 was when 1G came on the scene. This meant large cell phones that could only make phone calls, but were smaller and more manageable than 0G devices. Like 0G, they still used only analog signals, but were more compact and didn’t have protruding wires, making them more mobile. This new wireless technology meant you could make wireless calls on the go, whenever you wanted, bringing a level of long distance connectivity that began to change the function of human society.
2G standards were reached in 1992. Cell phones became even smaller and more affordable, making the technology more accessible and widespread. This was the beginning of the “mobile phone revolution”. Speeds increased, and text messaging became possible, as it used a combination of analog and digital signals.
3G came about in 2001, and integrated video, data and voice. This was the first time you could access the internet from a mobile device. Wireless devices became even more popular, especially among younger people.
4G standards were announced and begun implementation in 2011. From 3G, 4G has mostly brought with it a drastic increase in speed and bandwidth, making it possible to transfer much more and different types of information, such as video streaming. The term “LTE” stands for Long Term Evolution, which refers to the way they planned to increase 4G capabilities over the following decade. It means that 4G hadn’t reached its potential yet, and had a long way to go to achieve the speeds and bandwidth that was possible for the technology.
4G is still being improved, and it’s actually instrumental as a backbone for 5G technology. This means that 4G will NOT be abandoned as 5G is implemented. Rather, 5G stacks on top of 4G and they work together. This also means that none of the 4G infrastructure will be removed, but they will just add 5G antennas and repeaters along with the current infrastructure, therefore not removing any EMF sources, and actually adding considerably more.
How Is 5G Different, and What Are the Implications?
The actual software for the 5G antennas that are being installed is very different than the 4G software. What are the main differences?
First of all, a much wider range of frequencies is going to be used for 5G. Generally, 4G used frequencies up to 900 MHz. 5G will also use these lower frequencies (even down to 400 MHz) when attempting to transmit signals over very long distances. This is because lower frequencies travel considerably further, and since the waveforms are so large, they also have the advantage of being able to travel around obstructions like trees, buildings and through inclement weather conditions. However, using these lower frequencies that overlap the 4G spectrum will not allow 5G to reach its proposed capabilities. To achieve the speeds that are possible with 5G, much higher frequencies need to be used.
Current “high band” 5G infrastructure (as of mid 2021 when this article was written) is mostly operating between 5 GHz and 28 GHz, with some rare instances of up to 39 GHz. These are popularly referred to as millimeter waves, but they are actually centimeter waves. Centimeter waves are technically 3 – 30 GHz, while millimeter waves’ official definition is between 30 and 300 GHz.
We do not know of any instances where true millimeter waves have yet been utilized for 5G technology, although that is bound to change soon, with some of the 5G satellite companies that plan on activating their services later this year, but we will go more into that later in this article!
Higher frequencies can carry exponentially more data than lower frequencies. The supposed implications for this are capabilities that could change society in big ways. This includes nearly instantaneous movie downloads, extremely fast upload speeds, autonomous vehicles (self-driving cars), and the so-called Internet of Things (IoT).
The Internet of Things describes what are called “Smart” devices, appliances and utilities, which are being released on the retail market in droves. This could mean a video camera with sensors that points at your baby while they’re napping, notifying you when they make enough movement and sound to indicate waking. It could mean you have a wireless oven and a corresponding app on your phone, so you can preheat your oven for dinner on your way home from work. You could have a wireless doorbell that captures video of your visitors and sends it to your phone, letting you see who’s at the door without having to get off your couch. You could even have a “smart” refrigerator that lets you know when you’re out of butter, or even orders it for you without you having to do anything!
The Internet of Things is basically a staff of tiny robotic servants that are supposed to make our lives easier and more convenient. If you don’t like getting too much physical activity or participating in the mundane, manual aspects of life as a human being, you might love this idealized future. If you’re pretty self-sufficient and value the “chop wood, carry water” humble mentality and moving meditation practice of washing your own dishes and turning your oven on manually, you probably just see it as a waste of resources and a pointless invisible soup of wireless radiation permeating the resting space that’s supposed to support your health and well being.
All that philosophy aside, the Internet of Things is one of the main drivers and goals of 5G technology. It will also enable augmented and virtual reality, which certainly could have some valuable uses, one big one being a safe way to train people who are entering dangerous professions like surgeons, truck drivers and pilots. It’s a way for them to physically master the skills beforehand, reducing the likelihood of them endangering the lives of themselves and others due to lack of skill and experience.
However, widespread access to augmented and virtual reality, for the average person, could present serious problems. Once again, this depends on your philosophy of life, and many people are actually excited about the idea of transhumanism, a.k.a. the merging of man with machine. Many people would gladly install their mind into a machine and shed the mortal body, if it meant they could live forever and without the limitations of the natural human organism.
Whatever your philosophy, immersion into a digital and mental life could cause a serious deficiency of the necessities for human health, including physical contact with other humans, time in the outdoors and nature, natural vitamin D production from exposure to sunshine, physical activity, metabolic efficiency and uptake of nutrients. Not to mention the vital but underrated mental “free time” we need to let our minds wander and contemplate existence, without the distractions that come from our overstimulating technocratic world. Even with the current level of digital connectivity we have today, children are spending less time than ever playing outdoors and interacting with real life humans, and more time than ever staring into their smartphones and ignoring their physical surroundings, which is negatively impacting their health and development in many ways.
Other Features of 5G Technology
Getting back to the technical side for a moment, there a few other aspects of 5G technology that work differently than 4G. 3G and 4G cell towers are usually very tall and large, and the emitted signals radiate into the environment around the tower for miles. The signal permeates the air space, and any receiving device within that “cloud” can pick up and utilize the signal.
5G uses an antenna technique called beamforming, which goes along with the higher frequency, much shorter and smaller wavelengths that 5G utilizes. Via beamforming from phased array antennas, these very small wavelengths are directionally focused, depending on where the receiving devices are that are requesting the signal, rather than a cloud that permeates the area. It is so precise that it can even bounce signals off walls (since they generally can’t go through walls), exactly targeting the receiving devices, so that direct line of sight isn’t always required, which increases versatility and usefulness.
The beamforming aspect itself, since it concentrates a beam in a particular direction, could potentially be far more damaging to the health of anyone holding a receiving device (or in the direct path of one), and less damaging to anyone lucky enough to not be in the firing path at that time. As we detailed before, 4G is a “cloud” of radiation, permeating the vicinity and every living organism within that cloud. One may think that in this way, 4G could be more damaging than 5G, since the amount of time within direct 5G firing beams will probably be less overall than the time we spend in the 4G cloud, but the focused intensity of the 5G beams likely more than makes up for it. Additionally, as we stated before, 5G will be built on top of 4G infrastructure, so we will still be exposed to the same 4G, with the added intensity of 5G to boot!
Another feature that 5G brings is called Massive MIMO. MIMO is short for “multiple input, multiple output”, and refers to the nature and function of the antenna arrays on each base station. MIMO is used with 4G, where each antenna array contains between 8 and 12 antennas. With 5G, “massive” is added because there can be hundreds of antennas per base station, up to 256. This is specifically designed for crowded indoor areas where the number of devices demanding data is extremely high, like in sports stadiums, at concerts and in airports. If there are enough available antennas, it’s much more likely a data channel will be available in the exact moment you go to send a text or upload a photo to social media from your phone. Because of the sheer number of signals bouncing back and forth at all times, the beamforming technology explained above is absolutely essential for Massive MIMO to work effectively, without the signals bouncing off each other and canceling each other out.
For 5G to be utilized by receiving devices, like phones and computers, these devices actually need more antennas themselves. This means your current wireless devices won’t work with 5G. You need to buy a new cell phone that’s “5G enabled”, with different software and more antennas that are designed to receive the special 5G signals. All new cell phone models being released now are 5G enabled. If you want a 5G service, you will need a new phone, and likewise, if you want to AVOID 5G, make sure you stick with an older version that doesn’t have 5G capabilities!
We could essentially summarize the ways 5G is designed to improve wireless technology as:
- faster speeds: due to higher frequencies and more antennas available to transmit each data stream
- lower latency: also known as “lag time”, latency is the time it takes for an action to be executed following the instruction
- bandwidth: bandwidth is how large each data channel is, controlling the amount of information sent and received, and the greater frequency spectrum usage of 5G means each channel will be larger
- energy consumption: beamforming is more direct and efficient because it only sends information when and where it’s needed
Millions of Small Cells
The large, looming cell towers of the 3G and 4G days that reach many miles won’t work with the 5G vision, except as supporting infrastructure for long distance transmission. Because the higher frequencies can’t travel nearly as far, and are even obstructed by the atmosphere itself, the antennas need to be almost within line of sight of any receiving device. This means far more antennas need to be installed everywhere to make this a reality. This is called densification. These 5G antenna base stations are called small cells, because they are small, numerous, and low to the ground, compared to 4G cell towers. Because of the densification required to make the technology work in a seamless way, they will be installed on almost anything they can get away with. This includes lamp posts, trees, and top of buildings; indoors on desks, walls and ceilings; and even mobile small cells that are transported by drones to areas of high demand!
This is bringing up some major issues within some local communities who object to the placement of the new antennas. Since the viability of the technology relies on dense antenna placements, the FCC has passed laws and regulations that override the jurisdiction of local municipalities about where antennas are placed. According to their regulations, which are designed to allow the 5G rollout to happen as quickly as possible with the least objections, local areas and their citizens cannot contest the placement of antennas on public property. To expand their coverage even further, they are even trying to override personal and property rights by allowing a telecom to contract directly with a property owner to place a 5G repeater on their house (in exchange for monetary compensation or a discount on their service), without being required to notify neighbors. You can read more about this new rule in our article on the subject: FCC Changes Rule to Allow 5G Repeaters on Private Properties Without Neighbors’ Consent
Security & Surveillance Concerns
One major concern that many people have with 5G and the increase in artificial intelligence (AI) enabled devices in our lives is our security and privacy. This includes both security of sensitive personal information (like credit cards and identifying information) from those who intend to take advantage of it, and privacy from prying eyes into our personal lives.
An automated world could lead to technology that controls access to our basic necessities based on arbitrary standards, like a sort of “social credit score” that communist first world countries like China are already implementing. This could mean that if you say anything dissenting, or not approved by the State, on social media (or even in private email or text messages), the system itself could block your access to international travel, property rental, or even access to food. This may sound far fetched, but many believe that this potential reality is much closer than we can imagine. With the way that 5G is slated to drastically change society in fundamental ways, who is to say that it will always be used for “good” purposes, and won’t ever be an abuse of power by authoritarian governments who want tighter reins to control their citizens with? Just because technology is getting more advanced doesn’t mean that human morality and ethics are getting better alongside it.
Even more immediately realistic (and already happening) is the increased likelihood of the larger numbers of internet connected devices opening up more access than ever to your personal life by hackers. If someone wanted to burn your house down, they could turn on your stove and turn your thermostat all the way up remotely. If someone wanted to break into your house, they could remotely monitor your wireless cameras to study your daily routines and access points.
The truth is, the more of your life that’s on the internet, the more accessible your personal information and actions are to others. No matter how many security improvements are made to a wireless system, someone will find a way around them to get what they want.
Studies on Millimeter Wave Health Effects
In a U.S. Senate hearing in 2019 about the future of 5G technology, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal asked two Federal Communications Commission (FCC) representatives if any studies have been done on the effects of 5G technology on human health, and if they haven’t been done, if they plan to do any studies. Their answer was basically (and very awkwardly), no, there are no current studies, nor plans to do any studies in the future.
The strategy of the FCC and the telecoms is to rely on the highly outdated thermal-based exposure regulations that were established in 1996, the meager list of industry-funded studies that show no effect on biology, and misinterpreting, downplaying or ignoring several thousand additional studies that DO show negative effects on living biology from microwave radiation.
Obviously, no studies have been done on 5G itself, because 5G has not existed until now. However, there are studies on millimeter waves and their biological effects, because millimeter waves have been used since the 1950s for radar, the ‘60s for radio astronomy and the ‘70s for military applications. Russia has been researching the biological effects of millimeter waves since the ‘70s.
One argument that the industry makes for the supposed “safety” of millimeter waves in comparison to the lower frequencies is because the higher the frequency, the less the frequency will penetrate past the skin. However, this absolutely does NOT indicate safety. Vastly higher frequencies, such as ultraviolet and x-rays, also do not easily penetrate the skin, but everyone knows that an excess of these frequencies can do considerable damage.
The main reason why their argument is invalid, from currently available studies, is because these millimeter waves have a particular affinity for sweat ducts on human skin. It has been shown that these sweat ducts actually act as helical antennas for millimeter wave radiation, channeling it deep into the body. You can read the full study here.
Additionally, skin contains capillaries and nerve endings, and since millimeter waves primarily target the skin (and other surface body tissues), the effects can be transmitted through molecular mechanisms by the skin or through the nervous system.
One way that the military uses millimeter waves, and its implications, is particularly alarming. The military developed a non-lethal weapon that uses 95 GHz millimeter waves to inflict an unbearable burning sensation on the skin, causing the person to immediately move away by reflex. It was designed as a crowd-control method to disperse protesters and rioters. This is a form of Directed Energy Weapon (DEW) called the Active Denial System (ADS). Of course, the beams they use are at a much higher power than 5G will use, but instead of just a couple seconds of exposure, 5G will be a continuous exposure for anyone in the vicinity of an antenna.
Obviously, we don’t know if this low powered, continuous exposure will have similar effects as a high powered exposure that only lasts a couple of seconds, but why should we assume that it won’t have any negative effects? Potential negative side effects of the military weapon include redness of the skin and blisters, and that’s just for brief seconds of exposure. There have been two documented cases of injuries from ADS weapons, both second degree burns that required medical attention. Being targeted by this beam of millimeter waves has been described as making you feel like your body is on fire.
Doesn’t it sound sensible that we should at least do some more research on these high frequencies, as well as the combined effect of all the RF radiation we are about to be regularly exposed to, before we unleash it on all of society?
So far we have just covered the ground-based aspect of 5G, which in itself is vast, but this is not even close to all that’s about to change. Several companies in the United States and around the world are in the process of launching tens of thousands of satellites into the low and very-low Earth orbit part of the atmosphere, all designed to provide 5G service from space, especially to rural and low-coverage areas. Even just SpaceX has been approved to launch 42,000 satellites, and up to one million Earth-based satellite uplinks (ground hubs) to connect them to ground users!
These satellites are set to operate up into the true millimeter wave spectrum, from 12 GHz to 75 GHz. This is a considerably higher frequency range than the current ground antennas. The intention to provide coverage to “rural and underserved” areas is concerning, as many EMF sensitive people who have gotten sick from RF radiation have had to move to rural areas to save their health. We currently do not know how much these satellites are going to affect people in the vicinity of 5G satellite service users, or if you will have to be using the service yourself to be affected by it.
There are even more issues with these satellites. One major issue is the massive increase of moving parts within the Earth’s orbit, which will exponentially increase the already high likelihood of collisions. Even one collision between two satellites can create thousands of pieces of “space junk” that circulates through the atmosphere and adds to the already terrible “debris belt” that exists from past collisions. Each piece of space debris, in turn, increases the chances of another collision happening again! Even a tiny object like a screwdriver, orbiting the Earth at an extremely high speed, can render a functioning satellite useless after a collision. Read more about this in our article about 5G satellites and space debris.
Besides this imminent danger, the more satellites and debris we have within Earth orbit, the less access we have to space. This deals a painful blow to astronomy, and even just to any person who enjoys viewing the night sky. Too many satellites in the night sky can brighten it enough to make it hard or impossible to view more distant objects, such as other stars and galaxies. Astronomers are pleading these satellite companies and the FCC to rethink all these satellite launches, voicing warnings of the consequences it will have on space observation and discovery.
An even more serious concern is the unknown effect that this many satellites, emitting their high frequencies, will have on the ionosphere itself. The ionosphere of the Earth holds a very specific and delicate electrical charge, which keeps the balance of all life on Earth. In ways we are just starting to understand, humans and all other life forms rely on this natural electromagnetism to hold and maintain the complex symphony of life on Earth.
How Can Blushield Technology Help?
The truth is that wireless technology doesn’t have to be a terrible thing for humanity. If these companies cared to do so, they could find ways to create SAFE wireless communication devices. We have heard that the technology to do this already exists, but they just don’t care enough to change up what they’re already doing.
They are already talking about the increased capabilities of future wireless generations, of 6G, 7G, etc. We believe that there won’t be a “6G”, or any of these others, because the full rollout of 5G is very likely to create or exacerbate a worldwide health crisis before the next generation comes. 5G includes the possibility of frequencies up to 300 GHz, which cannot be exceeded realistically by future wireless technology. Going past several hundred Gigahertz and into the Terahertz range would be practically impossible, as the atmosphere would absorb these extremely high frequencies almost instantly, making them unsuitable for wireless communication.
Here at Blushield, we have been studying and following the plans for 5G for many years now, and already have several newer models that are designed to protect living organisms from the specific stress of these higher, more intense frequencies.
Two are stationary home devices, the Premium Cube and Premium Ultra, and there is one portable device, the U1 Portable. This updated algorithm, which contains an additional microprocessor that emits continuous Phi ratio based frequency patterns, is designed to create a regenerative effect in the body if you’re dealing with close range and/or millimeter wave 5G. Read more here about the Phi ratio and why these frequency patterns are significant when it comes to healing and regeneration.
Close range means you are in direct line of sight of a 5G antenna or small cell, or less than 350 feet. This means you’re more likely to be in the “line of fire” of the 5G data beams at any given time, which can be a source of significant stress on the body.
The design of the Premium devices is also for exposure to the higher frequencies of millimeter wave 5G, between 40 and 300 GHz. While these frequencies are not currently being widely used, we do know that’s in their future plans, and we do know that the satellites will be operating in this spectrum.
If you are not sure if you’re close to a 5G antenna, or what frequencies your local 5G antennas emit, stay tuned for our next article where we walk you through how to find this information with exacting accuracy.
Please note that all Blushield devices will protect you from general 5G exposure, in the current incarnation of 5G. The new Premium devices are specifically for close range and/or millimeter wave frequencies. If you have any questions about which device would be best for your situation and needs, please feel free to get in touch with us anytime. We would love to hear from you!
EMF Spectrum Cheat Sheet
“5G: Everything You Need to Know” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhECDSuXRDs&t=1105s
“Scientific American Warns: 5G Is Unsafe” – https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/11/joseph-mercola/scientific-american-warns-5g-is-unsafe/
“5G Wireless Technology: Millimeter Wave Health Effects” – https://www.saferemr.com/2017/08/5g-wireless-technology-millimeter-wave.html
“What You Should Know About 5G Satellites—How Musk’s Sci-Fi Dreams Are Becoming Our Living Nightmare” – https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/what-you-should-know-about-5g-satellites-how-musks-sci-fi-dreams-are-becoming-our-living-nightmare/
Study: “Human sweat ducts as helical antennas in the sub-THz frequency range – an overview” – http://www.tstnetwork.org/June2018/tst-v11n2-43Human.pdf
Study: “Modelling millimetre wave propagation and absorption in a high resolution skin model: the effect of sweat glands” – https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0031-9155/56/5/007/meta
“Elonx: Starlink Compendium” – https://www.elonx.net/starlink-compendium/
“U.S. DoD: Active Denial System FAQs” – https://jnlwp.defense.gov/About/Frequently-Asked-Questions/Active-Denial-System-FAQs/
“Millimeter Wave Radar – Advantages And Challenges” – https://legendkings.com/millimeter-wave-radar-advantages-and-challenges/
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