The Yin and Yang of 5G

The Hutch Report

We currently live in a digital era of “I want to do less,” “I want more” and “I need it immediately.” This is highlighted by the internet of things, such as autonomous robots that vaccum for you, self regulating thermostats and refrigerators. Netflix, Apple and others allow us to stream and binge watch more content than we could possibly consume in 10 life times. We can now transfer multi-gigabyte datasets in minutes that would once take days. But soon we will be doing even less, getting more and getting it even faster. 

2019 has been the year where we have seen the launch of actual 5G wireless networks, and just like with 4G, mobile devices are set to be a big enabler of the next generation of mobile connectivity. After years of anticipation and hype about being able to download full-length, high definition movies in a matter of seconds, the technology is now a reality. Carriers started rolling out fixed 5G to select cities in 2018, and mobile 5G has started making appearances in cities, with much more comprehensive rollouts expected in 2020.

As an example, with 5G speeds and low latencies, the “internet of things” will be powered by communications among sensors and smart devices. Compared to current smart devices on the market, massive machine-type communications (MMTCs), i.e., machine-centric rather than human-centric communications, will form the backbone of the upcoming automated society. These devices will require fewer resources, since huge numbers of these devices can connect to a single base station, making them much more efficient.

It is not surprising that the consumer demand for bigger, better and faster has provided multiple industries with the hopes of greater future profits and the motivation to deliver. So would expect to see a large number of devices flooding the markets in the next few years. However, once again, the consumer’s insatiable appetite for “I want more and I want it immediately” as blinded them to the possible dangers of what they may be sacrificing in return. 

In an appeal to the European Union, more than 180 scientists and doctors from 36 countries recently warned about the dangers of 5G. The expansion of the 5G network requires the installation of many more antennas in urban areas, which they argue, will lead to a massive increase in involuntary exposure to electromagnetic radiation. There seems to be no escaping the potentially harmful effects of radiation. After all, we are already exposed to 2G, 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi radiation.

It is not surprising that previous studies on the health impact of radiation have often been influenced by industry. The scientists therefore insist that independent studies on the effects of 5G radiation to ensure the safety of the population should now be carried out. They therefore have asked the European Commission to postpone the expansion of the 5G network, at least until the potential risks to human health and the environment have been thoroughly investigated by scientists independent of industry. At the same time, we are sure at some point the Apple watch, that will make use of this technology, will provide us with information on how it is harming our health! 

In addition, an explosion of devices (internet of things) coming onto the market will no doubt collect data on your every move throughout your day making today’s personal data collection look like a drop in the bucket in comparison to what they will soon have on you. 

The security threats of 5G are not just a concern for consumer applications, such as someone being able to access smart home networks. The 5G network will handle biometrics for authentication, devices for medical identity and analytics, wearable technology and much more. 

Maybe all of this can be explained by the philosophy of Yin and Yang. Understanding these two forces and how they interact maybe the best theory of everything. Everywhere we look in nature we see examples of these two opposite forces at work. Therefore it shouldn’t be surprising that with all the benefits and promises that 5G delivers, there is bound to be an equal number of disadvantages, handicaps, and hindrances that we will be forced to deal with so don’t be surprised when you are confronted with them.