5G Mobilised: Ofcom finds 5G within radioactivity safety limits

March 31, 2020

2 min read

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What's going on here?

The first safety tests of the UK’s 5G base stations, which emit tiny amounts of radiation, have been deemed within the safety limits by Ofcom.

What does this mean?

In practical terms, this means very little for 5G implementation in the UK. The tests found that the highest radiation was 0.039% of the recommended exposure limit set by an international commission on non-ionizing radiation, the type that does not damage DNA and cells. 

The tests measured the electromagnetic field of mobile base stations across 16 locations covering 10 UK cities, including London, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

What's the big picture effect?

The introduction of 5G to the UK’s mobile network has been turbulent. One key sticking point was whether to allow Huawei, the Chinese technology company, to provide equipment for the UK network after the US embargoed their products (to see our article on that, click here). 

There could be further strife ahead for the 5G rollout as campaigns mobilise in an attempt to ban 5G, due to the possible health effects of EMF radiation.  Some local councils in South-West England have sympathised with these campaigns and are looking to postpone or even prevent 5G’s implementation. It remains unclear what power local councils will have to thwart the plan which is endorsed by Westminster.

Ofcom’s finding does indeed demonstrate that EMF emissions radiate from 5G base stations. It is natural that people will fear such radiation and conspiracy theories abound, such as a recent article associating 5G with the spread of Coronavirus.  Ofcom, in response to an “increasing number of queries,” released a technical report declaring 5G safe but stated that it will continue to monitor EMF emissions from the stations. It should be noted that Ofcom was already measuring these emissions on a regular basis and has been doing so since 2003. To add further woes, Huawei’s role in the 5G network will be subject to a Parliamentary inquiry later this year. In early March, Conservative MPs rebelled in an attempt to prevent Huawei’s involvement in the network by amending the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill.  The debate regarding 5G and Huawei is far from over but in the meantime, 5G will go-ahead.

Report written by Michael Johnson

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