Frying Feeling


This morning.

Emails were sent out to progressive activist group Uplift subscribers appealing for donations towards funding an “environmental investigative journalist” to write about 5G.

To wit:

‘5G, the new high-speed mobile and internet connectivity system is causing huge confusion and concerns.

There are worries circulating on social media about its possible impact on our health and environment – but there seem to be lots of positives about it too.

We have had reports that a far right organisation has been hosting local meetings saying they’re concerned about 5G….

The more questions about 5G that go unanswered the more the far right get what they want – to make people feel distrustful and fearful.

That’s why our people-powered community is going to investigate for ourselves the truth about 5G.

As a community, we need information we are confident about – and that helps us have informed conversations with our friends and family.

…So here’s the plan. An experienced investigative environmental journalist has agreed to investigate 5G and the worries that it might not be good for us.

But we need to hurry – we have to book him by the end of the week and to do that we need to first raise €1,500 to cover his fees.

So can you chip in €10 to pay a journalist to investigate the concerns about 5G?

A worthy, if slightly pricey (we’d do it for crisps and a hug), endeavour?

Or something else entirely?

We may never know.




51 thoughts on “Frying Feeling

  1. ReproBertie

    “5G, the new high-speed mobile and internet connectivity system is causing huge confusion and concerns.
    … a far right organisation has been hosting local meetings saying they’re concerned about 5G”
    So it’s not actually 5G causing huge confusion and concerns but the far right organisation spreading confusion and concerns about 5G.

    1. Mickey Twopints

      And I’ve just spotted the update which leads to a page at leading with the headline “Brussels halts 5G plans over radiation rules”

      The *city* of Brussels
      Their *local* rules

      The term RADIATION is employed 10 times in the short article, without once being qualified with the correct term “Non-ionising” radiation.

      Marconi wept.

  2. Termagant

    I’ll do it for a grand

    I’m sure I can find a way to spin “it’s fine” out to a couple thousand words

    1. ReproBertie

      5G is the next generation of WiFi. From what I can see the concerns are the usual “Wifi causes cancer” stuff based on feelings rather than science.

  3. milk teeth

    It’s not WiFi its the next round of mobile phone signal. It’ll be another huge jump in data speeds. Like 4G let you watch videos 5G will let you control robots (if you happen to be rich enough to own one) and self driving cars to communicate. Essentially its the next big step in the ‘internet of things’ (all the smart gadgets that get on with the work by themselves).

    1. rotide

      This is pretty confused and incorrect.

      5g is just a faster version of the same technology that 4g uses. 5g uses a different part of the radio spectrum than 4g and wifi. They are all wireless technologies.

      5G letting you ‘control robots’ and self driving cars is just marketing. You can already control a robot using 3g. 5g just allows a lot more bandwith with less latency.

        1. rotide

          feck knows, I ain’t an electrical engineer, but I’m guessing its the tech on either end of the signal that is changing as well as the frequency.

          I’m sure wiki has a good article on it

          1. Mickey Twopints

            So, why do you feel qualified to chastise the posters above for what you consider to be their lack of understanding when you don’t understand it yourself?

            Gratis fact: the spectrum has no bearing on the latency. The speed of light is a constant*.

            *Yes, in a vacuum, I know.

          2. milk teeth

            I may well have fallen for marketing but from what I understand it allows faster data transfer which will increase network capacity and allow more information to flow which leads to us being able to use robots and self driving cars properly/more widely. I think it gives better stability too so they can do long distance surgery (where a surgeon in one place controls a robot in another doing the surgery) which will be cracking for more rural parts of the country (if they ever get 5G!) as you could have a top quality surgeon in Dublin controlling a robot in Bantry. (nothing against surgeons in the wilds of west Cork, you just need to preform a surgery so many times a year to keep yourself in the loop).

          3. just sayin

            frequency change won’t decrease latency, but increasing bandwidth / reducing congestion likely will.

          4. edalicious

            The speed of light is a constant but bandwidth is not. 5G is using a larger chunk of the frequency spectrum so can send more data.

            It’s also a higher frequency, which is more directional, so less interference between different devices with the trade off that it has less penetration through air and around obstacles (I believe) so more transmitters are required.

            On top of all that is better tech on either end so you get better spectral efficiency, meaning you can send more data per Hz of bandwidth.

        2. Termagant

          Fortunately I am an electrical engineer
          There’s a couple of elements of 5G that reduce latency. On a hardware level a higher frequency signal has a shorter wavelength. The smallest allowable antenna you can use is half a wavelength, so a shorter wavelength allows for a smaller antenna. Smaller antennas mean you can fit more radios per mast, which means you can serve more users per unit time, which means from a user standpoint your signal is more likely to be received first time since the resource allocation scheme has more to work with.

          Behind the scenes 4G uses OFDM, 5G uses scalable OFDM. There are many extremely boring ways I could describe the differences here but essentially in regular OFDM the smallest transmission unit is a subframe of 1ms, in 5Gs scalable modulation a 1ms subframe can be subdivided, based on the nature of the channel, into up to 32 slots. So whereas the architecture of 4G means your minimum transmission time is 1ms, regardless of the quality or duration of your signal, in 5G the minimum transmission time under superoptimal conditions is 1/32 ms.

          Lastly it’s got a 5 in it which is more than 4 so that means it’s better.

          1. Mickey Twopints

            No argument with any of those points. Do you agree that the spectrum, per se, has no bearing on the latency?

          2. Anomanomanom

            It will have little to no noticeable difference to your speed over 4g. The tech is good but for mobile use its not going to change your life in any meaningful way.

          3. Termagant

            Directly? Spectrum and latency are unrelated, being that latency is a facet of implementation, spectrum being an expression of the natural phenomenon of electromagnetic radiation. But as I outlined using a wider higher frequency spectrum allows you to take steps to reduce latency.

          4. Mickey Twopints

            Indeed you did. However, (unless I misunderstand you) your solution proposes the improvement of bandwidth (and by extension, throughput) which will in turn reduce the congestion and, indirectly, mitigate any latency caused by said congestion. All of which are *good things* from the customer experience perspective. I was concerned that you may have been suggesting that the radio frequency in use had a direct bearing on latency, and I now see that you were not.

          5. edalicious

            Mickey, instead of spending your Friday afternoon trying to catch people out, would you ever consider just trying to help people to learn what mistakes they’re making?

      1. Dr.Fart MD

        everyone should learn to ignore rotide. does this a lot, spouts on about something he/she knows nothing about but believes he/she is somehow the leading authority on all knowledge of said subject he/she spouts on about but has just learned of its existence. and anyone saying otherwise doesn’t just get told theyre wrong, there’s vitriol in it. for how dare yee who question the great rotide, knower of all things including things he/she doesnt know about.

        1. ReproBertie

          You could spare yourself all that he/she nonsense by using the neutral pronoun “they”.

          You’re welcome.

        2. rotide

          ok Dr, you continue to believe that streaming HD video requires less bandwith than instructions to a robot.

          1. Milk teeth

            I don’t know why you’ve taken this so much to heat or decided to drag this out but a key selling point of 5g is its ability to control advanced robots. Were not talking about a robot/any old robot here but super advanced specific robots like robot surgeons.

      2. Skeptik

        It’s not 5g that’s questionable, it’s the millimetre wave band that can (but not necessarily) be used by 5g.
        So the first question is if we’re licencing millimetre wave transmission here and if so what research has been done on its safety. Most people will be familiar with its application in Airport pornoscanners that allow airport security see weapons and people’s junk under clothing.

  4. just sayin

    €1,367.0 donated of €1,500 goal

    how are people so gullible?

    “a far right organisation has been hosting local meetings saying they’re concerned about 5G….”

    far right and far left groups hold ‘local meetings’ to try and get new members.

    The advertised topic for these meetings will be anything that gets people in the door

    If the topic has an element of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) then so much the better

    This is simply an attempt to generate a mailing list of gullible people while simultaneously extracting money from them.

    1. Mickey Twopints

      Pseudoscience and innuendo, Eoin.

      While it is true to say that higher radio frequencies can (at very high exposure levels) cause injury to living tissue, the power levels in use for 5G are nowhere near.

      Also, that report is from the *city* of Brussels, and their *local* byelaws.

  5. Increasing Displacement

    5G will never make it outside of densely populated areas and these area will be inundated with mini towers due to pathetic penetration.

    Wanna check? Your router rocks 2.4g and 5g. See how far you can still receive it from your router. Throw a wall, a bit of glass in the way. You get nout.

    1. Termagant

      Different Gs, homie. Your router does 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. 5G operates at somewhere in the region of 100 GHz.

      1. Increasing Displacement

        I didn’t say it was the same.
        The attenuation of 5 on your router being far higher than 2.4.
        It was simply a way joe soap could see it for themselves in their own home.

    2. Mickey Twopints

      Not a valid comparison, ID.

      A domestic or SOHO wireless router has very low signal strength by design. With the right antenna, mounted in the clear, the range of the same 2.4 or 5.6 GHz radio as fitted to your WiFi router can have a range measured in 10s of kilometres (with different software, admittedly).

      As a general rule of thumb, the higher the frequency the greater the attenuation or “path loss”. In practice, the natural world messes with our heads by introducing other factors such as vegetation, atmospheric humidity and terrain etc.

      I don’t claim to be an expert on the rollout of 5G, but my limited understanding is that the primary technical obstacle to rollout in Ireland is the fact that eir are still squatting on some of the frequencies (3.5 GHz specifically) which ComReg have already auctioned to the service providers. No doubt the situation is more nuanced than I’ve portrayed it, and someone with better information will correct me.

      It’s important to note that the hysterics around 5G ignore the fact that the frequencies allocated have already been in use for other services, by and large. Our old analogue TV channels for example, and the 3.5 GHz channels mentioned above, which are/were used by eircom for the provision of “Fixed Wireless Access” services.

      1. Increasing Displacement

        This flies in the face of everything I’ve read or watched about 5g and it’s poor distance and penetration values

        So I think you’re wrong. It’s not rolled out anywhere in force because it is still being tested.
        Also T-mobiles ceo came out this week saying they will not roll it out anywhere outside of densely populated areas. Due to what I have mentioned above.

      2. Mickey Twopints

        I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with, or where you think I’m wrong.

        The fact that low-power microwave WiFi radios on 2.4 and 5.6 can be used for long range? I’m typing this from one end or a link using that very technology and the other end of my link is 16km away. Go and look at the product offerings from companies such as ubiquiti and MikroTik, just to name two. This is not news.

        “ComReg admits to paying rebates to 5G auction winners”

        “Successful bidders of ComReg’s 3.6 GHz licence award auction in May 2017 are becoming increasingly frustrated at the fact that they are unable to proceed with their network plans because an existing operator, who was using the spectrum prior to the auction, has yet to fully vacate from it.”

        1. Increasing Displacement

          Time will show 5g not used outside of dense population areas. You wait and see.
          Don’t really care about the Irish market but major players in major markets have stated 5G is for urban only.

          1. Mickey Twopints

            You may well prove to be correct, ID. However, if your prophecy comes to pass it will be for commercial reasons rather than technical ones.

  6. SOQ

    There was a GP called Mary Allen in Crossmaglen, who was struck off. She objected to not the political surveillance at the time but the health implications. Three of her children are now at least general practitioners. Maybe Broadsheet could ask her for her opinion?

    @JR. Can after some digging provide the contact details I expect.

  7. Truth in the News

    What the cumulative effect of man made electromagnetic radiation on humans and the
    environment has as of yet has not been properly researched, the migration to higher
    frequencies has only occurred in the last 20 years, with the move up to 5 to 6 Ghz in the
    last couple of years, and with the rollout of 5G to much higher frequencies above 6Ghz
    and with a more denser concentration of cells to acommodate frequency reuse, which
    will increase radiation levels, this will call into question what are safe SAR levels, an
    interesting issue is the use of WiFi, and WiMax routers now proliferating in nearly every
    household and the addition in the external environment of short range 5G cells into the
    mix……it should be also be noticed that several countries not least the US have been
    experimenting with micowaves for crowd control and military purposes and would know
    a thing or two about their effects in particular on humans, a walk past the US Embassy
    in Ballsbridge indicates what precautions they took years ago.

  8. Joe

    Why not hire a scientist instead of a journalist. probably cheaper and they will actually know about the topic.

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