5G: It’s Really Mostly 4G

For those who are curious about the architecture of 5G, we offer this short summary explaining why 5G isn’t what it seems. In fact, the name 5G is merely a marketing tool. After all, selling 5G as “mostly 4G with a little 5G thrown in” isn’t going to inspire customers to pay premium prices for 5G service.

It turns out that for a long time to come, 5G will be accessed through 4G antennas, the same kind that service today’s 4G LTE networks. This is partly due to the superior range of 4G waves which are longer and go right through walls, trees and people. And, therein lies the problem.

Antenna Densification

If you’ve read other parts of this site or been following the controversy regarding 5G, you may know that 5G is going to require a lot of new cellular antennas, possibly millions in the United States alone. That compares to about 323,000 servicing the U.S. cellular network at the end of 2017 before any major 5G build-out. This implies about 1 million antennas as there is often more than one per site. The Telecommunications Industry Association estimates that the number of cell sites will have to grow by a factor of 13 to service the 5G network in the United States.

Those new antennas will be mostly 4G and will be part of a process called “antenna densification.” That’s just a fancy phrase for putting a lot more antennas everywhere including all along streets in residential neighborhoods—essentially, in people’s front yards. The wireless industry says that it needs these antennas in order to provide the capacity that its customers are demanding. The truth is that there are other far less harmful ways to build capacity for carrying internet data. The most efficient and effective is more wired connections to homes and businesses.

Although genuine 5G antennas will be activated on demand, all of the much more numerous 4G antennas will rain down powerful wireless radiation at close range on people’s homes and businesses 24/7/365. That radiation will be far more intense than what the vast majority of people are exposed to today. And, there will be no way to escape except to leave one’s home or place of business and live and work in an area not yet invaded by antenna densification.

The wireless industry has many reasons for using the 5G name for what turns out to be mostly 4G antenna densification. One unsavory reason may be to hoodwink municipalities and their residents into allowing “4G closer to homes without the difficulty and cost of obtaining permissions required for cell towers, while at the same time staking claim to muni ‘real estate’ for 5G [antennas] later on, if and when the 5G network is built out in a given location.”

Beamforming Antennas

One of the ways in which both new 4G and 5G antennas will transmit data more efficiently will be through what the industry calls “beamforming.” The word means what it sounds like. Antennas are activated so that instead of sending data in all directions, signals are steered in a specific direction. This enhances transmission speed. But, of course, there are potential health questions because beamforming “greatly concentrates radiation exposures into narrow, high-intensity beams.”

5G Isn’t What It Seems

It’s an understatement to say that 5G isn’t what it seems. A look “under the hood” demonstrates just one small aspect of the 5G Trojan Horse now being pushed on the public. To learn more about the dangers and drawbacks of 5G, click on one of the following topics: Health Impacts, Privacy & Security Issues, Decline in Property Values, Loss of Local Control, Environmental Harm.