5G towers are the infrastructure used to house network equipment for faster Internet access, and although they are functionally different from the cell towers you are used to seeing because the equipment emits higher frequency radio waves that are much shorter in length – they are, in fact, harmless.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, bad views on 5G have escalated, with some people making disturbing and unsubstantiated claims that there is a link between the coronavirus and the deployment of 5G towers.
This fear mongering has led to almost 80 cell towers being burned down in the UK.
However, the latest iPhone is all about the faster internet that comes with 5G, and according to Apple’s top analyst, the iPhone 12 models are in very high demand.
So why do some people swear at 5G when they want the technology that gives access to 5G?
How do 5G towers really work and why do they cause so much fear, uncertainty and doubt?
Let’s figure it out together…
Table of Contents
How Does the 5G Network Work?
Unlike the classic cell towers that power LTE networks – bulky, typically 60 to 120 meters high and several kilometers apart – 5G networks rely on miniature units, aptly called “small cells,” that are often connected to existing supports in urban buildings.
5G operates at a higher frequency than other communication standards we are used to, such as 3G, 4G or LTE.
These networks operate at frequencies between 1 and 6 GHz, while experts say that 5G is closer to the range between 24 and 90 GHz.
Because 5G waves operate at a higher frequency, they are more powerful but also shorter in length.
This is the main reason 5G deployments require a new infrastructure: waves have different characteristics. For example, shorter wavelengths are more sensitive to interference from objects such as trees and skyscrapers, and even raindrops or snowflakes.
In fact, that is why small cells are installed on the power poles.
In cities, especially outdoors, 5G is fast and powerful, but it cannot pass through walls or other obstacles. Thus, the more access points there are, the better the signal will be.
After all, you wouldn’t want a connected autonomous vehicle driving down a freeway until it loses signal while driving between two tall buildings.
4G VS 5G
As far as its comparison with the 4G network, there are several factors that make it the best choice.
Some of these factors include:
- 5G is much faster than the traditional 4G network and can easily achieve a maximum speed of up to 20GB per second.
- Unlike 4G, the new 5G technology is not designed to provide conventional broadband services. It can also serve other services such as the Internet of Things, self-driving cars, and robotic applications.
- A 5G network can also handle 100 times more traffic than a 4G network. This means that even if multiple devices are connected to the same router, you will be able to enjoy a fast and uninterrupted Internet Connection.
- 5G also has comparatively lower latency than 4G networks, making it a more reliable and stable network connection.
What is a Safe Distance From a Cell Tower?
100 meters can be considered a 100% safe distance.
The safety of the distance depends on the power of the antenna, its gain and on the load.
That is, the more people at a particular moment use the services of a particular antenna, the stronger its radiation will be.
Visually, this cannot be known.
Radiation can be measured using specialized equipment.
Now consider the most negative scenario.
A man is standing on an open balcony, there is a tower outside with a base station pointed directly at him, and a standard city antenna (not a military one, please) is loaded at full capacity.
According to the results of a number of studies and measurements, in this case, the safe distance will start at about 70 meters from the antenna. 100 meters can be considered a 100% safe distance.
How Do You Know If You Live Near a 5G Tower?
To do this, you can go to different websites that provide real-time updates about 5G connectivity and check if there is 5G coverage in your country/state or not.
Most of these websites even display a world map with real-time location updates, making it easy for users to check availability in their home area.
To find a 5G tower in your area, you will need to purchase a spectrum analyzer.
These are high performance EMI readers that can also read frequencies up to 54 GHz. If you can afford one of these instruments, you can walk around the area and use them to read frequencies.
Ideally, frequencies from 24 to 39 GHz will indicate that there is a 5G tower in your city.
However, if you don’t want to spend money on a spectrum analyzer, you can also search Google for “5G in my area”.
Google will automatically list all the websites that let you know about the availability of 5G towers in your area.
Anyway, Radio waves are not dangerous for humans, they do not cause cell mutations, do not affect DNA. Thousands of scientific studies have not found a negative effect of the signal of cellular networks on the human body (this is also confirmed by the World Health Organization).
Can 5G Radiation Penetrate Walls?
Yes, 5G radiation can penetrate the walls.
But first, it is worth understanding that the safety of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from base stations depends on many parameters.
First of all, dangerous radiation propagates mainly horizontally, and, for example, there will be no danger to humans directly under the antenna.
But if the antenna is pointed at your window, then we can already talk about the harmful effects.
However, even in this case, glass reduces the energy flux density by almost three times, and a concrete wall by 30 times.
How Far Away Should You Be From a 5G Tower?
100 meters can be considered a 100% safe distance.
How Far is 5G Radiation?
5G Radiation is approximately 500 meters from the tower.
The 5G network operates in the frequencies of 6-100 GHz, and the 4G network operates in the range of 0.8-2.6 GHz.
Related to this are the claims of some researchers: 5G waves have a higher frequency than networks of previous generations, which means they can be potentially dangerous.
However, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has set a safe limit up to 300 GHz. Even if 5G will spread at a maximum of 100 GHz, it is still three times below the limit.
Research by the international scientific academy SciProof has also proven that fifth-generation networks are safe for humans.