5G technology: Why Not to Worry and What to Do if You are Still Afraid of It

Petar Popovski
6 min readApr 5, 2020

The false stories about the harmful effects of 5G have been working their way through the digital channels and social media and got even mystically connected to the COVID-19. Unfortunately, now their effect transited from the digital to the physical world, when a 5G base station was set on fire in the UK. This is a wakeup call for the people working with wireless communications, a community which I belong to, to step in and provide clarifications.

I am well aware that these clarifications should be able to fight a single emotional “5G is harmful” tweet, a meme, or a scary video. That is really difficult and I will try to make it as short as possible with the following ten points:

1- "Is it plain stupid to be worried about 5G?".
No, you have the right to be worried about any new technology you are not familiar with. For example, people were afraid when electricity was first introduced. At the Mercedes museum one can hear the story that, in the beginning, people were running like mad away from cars, but were not afraid of an older transport technology (horses). The difference here is that we have been using wireless technologies for decades and 5G is another wireless technology (read further before you dismiss my claim that 5G is "just another wireless technology" in the sense it is of interest here). Besides the right to be worried, you also have the right to get informed and even a duty to get informed before you act in any way against the introduction of new technology.

2- "5G is everywhere, we can feel the effects of radiation."
5G is still not being used widely. How many people that you know personally surf over a 5G phone or through a 5G-connected tablet? Even if that number is not zero (which I suppose will be), it is still minuscule compared to the number to the people around you that use 4G, WiFi, 3G, 2G or even Bluetooth earbuds. So, the wireless radiation you are exposed to has (almost) no 5G radio waves, while it does have a lot of radio waves from the other wireless technologies, which have already been used for decades.