Since we announced on June 1, 2019, that we’re launching 5G on BT this autumn, we’ve received some questions via social media around environmental and health issues associated with 5G.
A lot of this concern is based on incorrect information that’s being circulated. Here are the facts about 5G, and why no one needs to be concerned about their health.
Mobile and WiFi networks have been in use in the UK and around the world since the 1980s, and there is no evidence of harmful effects. 5G uses the same group of radio waves that have been tested and in use for decades.
These radio waves are ‘non-ionizing’. This means that they do not have the energy to change the DNA structure of a cell. This means that these radio waves don’t create cancerous cells.
Ionizing radio waves include things like beta rays, gamma rays and x-rays, which do have the energy to change cell structures. That’s why there are lots of measures in place to protect you when you go for an x-ray in the hospital.
The radio waves used in mobile networks can cause a small increase in body temperature – that’s why we have strict guidelines in place to ensure that members of the public can never get too close to our masts.
5G in the UK will use waves at 3.4-3.8GHz in 2019. In the future, 5G may use lower spectrum like 700MHz, or higher spectrum like 26GHz or 32GHz. These higher waves are known as millimetre waves (or ‘mmWaves’). Some people are saying that these higher waves are dangerous and that they haven’t been researched. Neither of these things is true.
mmWaves are completely safe – they are non-ionizing, and there has been research into them since 1895! These frequencies are used in the UK for carrying mobile data between some masts, and there has never been any adverse effect – on people or the environment.
5G networks in the UK in 2019 will use 3.4-3.8GHz spectrum
5G could use frequencies between 700MHz and 86GHz in the next ten years
Waves used by 5G in 2019 are even lower than the WiFi routers in most houses
All waves used for mobile networks and WiFi are ‘non-ionizing’, which means they don’t create cancerous cells
‘5G will cause cancer.’ This is not true – the radio waves that 5G will use do not have the energy to change the structure of a cell, so cannot create cancerous cells
‘Trees will be cut down to allow 5G networks to be built.’ This is not true – we won’t be cutting down any trees for 5G
‘Birds will be affected by the frequencies being used for 5G.’ This is not true – the frequencies being used for 5G have been in use in the UK for many years, with no adverse effects
‘There will be a 5G antenna every 10-20 homes across the countryside.’ This is not true – 5G ‘small cells’ will be used in densely populated cities, but not in this volume and not in rural areas
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