This is something I've been having trouble with.
Lately I've become more aware of the secondary effects of 5G- on weather forecasting, on the radio spectrum, possibly on bees- and it's got me wondering why we need it for telecom. I just don't see the value added. I can already communicate with anyone in the world, access any information, and find my way anywhere with 4G. A significantly higher rate of data transfer just doesn't seem to add any new functionality to my phone. Can anyone give me a good rationale for 5G? Entertainment doesn't count.
I'll grant right-off-the-bat that it'll have some fantastic industrial applications; my issue is with personal telecom. It just feels like a new planned obsolescence vector.
Over the last decade we've gone from using 5 hours of data per subscriber to less than 4 minutes, and potentially down to 20 seconds. Similarly, latency went from 400ms ping to 5ms.
This improves network performance, since the tower is more likely to be available when you need it, and faster too, even if the average throughput and backhaul link remains unchanged. It also improves battery life because the battery is primarily draining during active comm sessions. Get them in faster, serve them faster and back to sleep faster.
Think of it in terms of Apple's MacBook. The finite resource here is more complex as it's both thermal and power. The CPU tops out at an average of 1.3GHz but it has an instantaneous turbo-boost to 3.2GHz. You could say that 1.3GHz is pretty fast and gets the job done, if it represents the same TDP, why bother going faster? The answer is it improves your experience (lower latency on bursty workloads). It also improves your battery life because it's more efficient to spend 1/3 the time at 3.2GHz and 2/3 the time sleeping than the whole time at 1.3GHz. I think Apple described it as "racing to get back to sleep."
Obviously this breaks down with sustained workloads, though I'd argue the same is true of 5G.
You're making the classic IT-guy failure of talking about the technical feature rather than the user outcome (I have had to train myself out of this in recent years so I'm not having a go at you).
I don't work on cellular infrastructure, and don't even work on IoT anymore, but I could imagine that as far as IoT infrastructure is concerned, it might not be that any specific devices need a large amount of throughput to provide their services, but that the aggregate of a potentially very larger number of devices needing access to data services could test the throughput of the collective infrastructure, and redesigning that infrastructure to be able to have more throughput could be key, not to a future with some magical usecase of some specific types of devices, but to a future with a much larger number of simple networked devices working in concert to make the world more efficient in the aggregate.
That said, is the timing right? I don't know. It does kind of seem like it is driven more by politics than technical necessity.
I sometimes forget to plug my phone in, maybe after traveling, maybe after drinking haha. I'm already super glad my phone will make it through a second day. Back in the iPhone 3G days? Not so much.
expected benefits >> costs + supposed negative externalities
supposed benefits << cost and expected negitive externalities
Can I get an argument against the 5G standard that doesn't amount to, "This may cause harm through an unknowable secondary mechanism despite roughly 100 years of evidence that it is safe."
If you don't need it then why would you do it? There is no need for an argument to not waste money on useless infrastructure. E.g. Why not build only 4 lane highways instead of a side streets? Because it's unnecessary.
The burden is on you to justify the expense and I don't see any clear justifications as to how this is in anyone's best interest outside of the telcos and <5% of users.
According to Pew Research, 95% of Americans own cellphones. 75% of the world population owns cellphones. When you include other mobile networked devices that number goes up if only a little. Any infrastructure improvement to the wireless telecom infrastructure will benefit the vast majority of the world's population. Even people who insist on using 4G will see major benefits due to less congestion as people migrate over to 5G systems and guess what, the 5G standard includes keeping the 4G system intact and running so this isn't a planned obsolescence but purely an expansion of capability!
Historically, nearly all infrastructure development has yielded significant positive returns not just for the capital holders (Telco's) but for the users as well. While we can certainly extend additional 4G coverage, 5G has a significant number of technical improvements that allow for better backhaul network and network management. Once the initial development costs are paid, there is no reason not to use 5G access standards over 4G.
Most of the 5G mmWave standards are backhaul for the foreseeable future. These enable low cost, low latency deployments to areas which are currently undeserved because of the costs of deployment. This is important because it enables technologies like tele-robotics. It would allow rural areas to invest in a surgical robot at their local hospital and have an expert surgeon working from a more prominent location potentially saving lives.
There are standards for out of channel spectral masks to prevent problems like (including specifically) the one postulated in the article. There exposure standards for safety that the military has been researching for decades as part of their radar work in the mmWave band. I've yet to see any concerns that were not specious and certainly not from anyone familiar with the technology. Most of the concerns are just repeated talking points from dozens of other older technologies that never showed any substance with a helping of, "It's different THIS time." So, you're right, it's not funny, it's sad to see people on Hacker News arguing that 2010 was the ideal level of technology and we shouldn't bother trying to develop more. Hell, it's literally the same argument Comcast makes on why broadband standards shouldn't be raised. "What people have is good enough and they don't want more so you can't justify the costs to improve!"
The 95% of people who own cell phones don't necessarily need internet faster than 4g on their phones and would be happy with that working reliability, which it doesn't.
>It enables technologies like tele-robotics. It would allow rural areas to invest in a surgical robot.
That sounds good and all, but shouldn't we just build out the fiber network so that we have actually reliable infrastructure instead of janky bullshit running on a proprietary cellular modem? What level of reliability should a surgical robot be? I'd say 9 9's for myself to use it. Can a cell signal transmit perfectly 99.9999999% of the time with those low latency numbers ? I don't think so since it's relying on atmospheric conditions and no interference to function.
Ironically, 5G will further reduce incentive for the clearly useful technology of fiber to be deployed at scale.
Why should someone be allowed to implement a design at scale without testing and solving the downstream problems first? That's not how engineering works.
Extra battery life is a feature, not an outcome.
Nobody is wandering around wanting their phone to last longer purely for that sake.
You're looking for a user story where only looking at the corollary makes it obvious that battery life enables everything else.
Suppose you shipped a phone with 99% less battery life than its competitors. You could, at trivial expense, increase your 1% to 10%, your engineers propose how to do so.
You reply, "My phone lasts longer and that lets me _____".
To which your engineers reply, "Use your phone?"
Grab an iPhone 3G and use it for a few days. That's what going back from 5G to 4G will be 5 years from now. Just as it is going back from 4G to 3G today. You've just gotten used to how good things are.
I just set my phone to 3G, where I'm getting a speed test of 15mbps about 1/10th what I get on 4G typically.
Everything seems to work the same way it did on 4G. Actually I'm surprised by that because I thought 4G had been a bigger improvement.
That's a sale-able outcome: more and more people are using the spectrum so if we don't upgrade to a more efficient use then the outcomes you currently enjoy (video chat, gaming, virtual desktops whatever it is you do and value) will stop working because of the traffic.
avidity I say
I'd rather see more work put into usability than in even higher speeds.
Also, We still haven't even hit theoretical 3g speeds. But reallocation of spectrum is a quick easy way to get there without doing the work.
Also, wired connections (especially outdoor ones) have a tendency to be vulnerable to things like wire cutters or fiber-seeking backhoes. I'd imagine a competent security system implementer would find some way to physically secure the cable as best as possible, but given that a wireless jammer is a much more sophisticated attack strategy than, say, some snips or an "accidental" strike by some piece of equipment, going wireless might be a viable tradeoff.
Cameras that use fiber exist, but you could also just use an ethernet camera and a fiber to ethernet converter.
> Also, wired connections (especially outdoor ones) have a tendency to be vulnerable to things like wire cutters or fiber-seeking backhoes.
I once encountered a survivalist who would always carry a length of fiber optic cable with him, that way if he was ever hopelessly lost in the wilderness he needed only to bury the fiber and a backhoe would be along promptly to dig it up.
One solution in those cases is to use directional wireless, which is harder to jam, but then you're back to not needing 5G.
If it's important enough you can also attach a storage device directly to the camera so that if there is a temporary network interruption the data isn't lost.
Of course, you also have the trouble that the cameras themselves tend to be vulnerable to things like rocks. Securing something which is out in the open is hard.
> given that a wireless jammer is a much more sophisticated attack strategy than, say, some snips or an "accidental" strike by some piece of equipment
Jamming wireless is not really that sophisticated. It's both easy an inexpensive to do it. The main impediment is that the legal penalties can be rather severe, but criminals are not well known for their fastidious adherence to the law.
For those who haven't, Shadowrun is a fantasy/cyberpunk RPG, and since the most recent two editions, everything is wireless. Everything. Cameras, locks, guns, you name it. Which makes it a lot of fun for a hacker to brick an opponent's gun in the middle of combat. Or, of course, use a security camera's wireless connection to get into the larger system behind it.
I hope real world security will be more sensible than that, but signs are not encouraging.
But I believe the rule or gentleman's agreement in Shadowrun is that something you paid Essence for (you pay Essence for cyberware and bioware) is part of you and cannot be hacked. Though I believe there have been adventures where for plot reasons it was possible. Shadowrun is not entirely consistent in that regard, I'm afraid.
Google Fi is for people who mostly use wi-fi. (I use Google Fi)
T-Mobile is “unlimited data” until 50GB, then they limit your speed.
5G as I've understood it also more about latency.
Cable boxes will be replaced by subsidized free smartphones in exchange for "always on" subscriptions. No more home WiFi for low-end market.
Personally, the industrial 5G IoT applications are far more interesting.
Perhaps, Jevons paradox might be more apt in this case, as huge investments in 5G Infrastructure indicate that 4G/LTE efficiency/usage ratio has peaked.
Nevertheless, any nascent demand for next-gen media in the next few years can be served via 5G NR, Wi-Fi 6 and inter-related standards like Wi-Fi HaLow,Vantage etc. and Blutetooth 5 with synergistic and overlapping features, until 'real' 5G establishes itself, sometime in the next decade.
Insert any VHS vs BetaMax or AC vs DC historical lesson here. The best tech does not always win.
If carriers, smartphone makers, and chipset manufacturers all agree on 5G, then 5G will "win".
They could adopt the default position suggested by you and do nothing; it will certainly be favourable and indeed profitable for all the incumbents in the short term, but they will only be postponing the inevitable. A new generation of mobile standard is a well-trodden path, from the beginning of 1980's with the advent of 1st Generation of wireless telecommunications and every decade since then. It is without a doubt paved with riches and there will be winners and losers ─ however, the biggest driver has been innovation and not just about the 'win' and to suggest that 5G might fail is pure fantasy.
It is a non-sequitur to compare stand-alone video formats with a constellation of technological advancements, encompassing a multitude of disciplines, which have had a profound impact on us.
Also, before anybody comments something about 5G helping out in broadband deserts, I'd argue that point is invalidated by the reduced penetration depth due to the much higher frequency of 5G. Let's just invest in rural broadband instead
IoT applications are typically very low-bandwidth. The main issue is cost and power usage.
From cheap, slow, long range deployments like LoRa (100 devices sending tens of bytes) to satellite broadcast (any number of synchronised devices), and a few things in between.
What does this mean? Something beyond video? VR?
My instinct is that there are diminishing returns past a certain point. We're certainly not there yet, but once cellular networks allow you to stream high-definition VR content and upload data at the same rate, it seems like there's nothing more that additional bandwidth could add.
I see it as a philosophical issue... bandwidth is for the transmission of information, and there's only so much information that a human being can receive and provide at a given moment. At some point you're running up against the maximum bandwidth of the human user.
Well there is this famous quote "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." from 1943 and it turned out to be very wrong.
"High-definition VR content" isn't the same as "indistinguishable from reality". When movies were first introduced to theaters, with small frames per second rates, without color and without any sound on the medium itself, people were quite stunned and e.g. took cover when a the movie showed a train approaching at high speeds. Nowadays it seems primitive to us from a technological standpoint.
There is a trend that some people don't accept lossy audio encoding. Maybe one day, videos will get a same trend and people want lossless videos, in full 360 degree VR, intensity resolution beyond perceptual limits and constantly high enough angular resolution for your eyes to foveate any area of the screen and see no pixels. That's quite a huge amount of data to transmit. Add in buffering so that you can seek, etc.
As for genuinely new forms of media, I could think of some: full-body experiences with feeling of touch, smell, etc either live or recorded possibly professional in a studio or just you sharing your last vacation to venice.
Taking it further: uploading your consciousness to a body which is a large distance away, making physical travel of humans mostly obsolete: Maybe one day we can represent the brains of human individuals as data and send it with light speed around the earth and throughout space.
It's like Netflix versus cable television - you can push the equivalent of hundreds of 1080p streams through a broadcast cable television, but attempting to push on-demand IP packets to an equivalent number of subscribers would bog down horrifically if they even attempted to stream a single show (let alone how you have cable tuners that can tune multiple shows at once).
What you need there is something much more akin to broadcast television - either a digital OTA video broadcast (good ol' digital television), or a microcell using multicast to broadcast a stream to any interested party.
(of course your phone probably doesn't have a DTV tuner, but when a RTL-SDR dongle is like $20, you should probably be asking why your phone isn't integrating that functionality. These days they don't even have FM tuners on phones anymore... despite the fact that in virtually all cases those are already built into the cellular chipset. IP-based singlecast is not a good paradigm for a lot of the use-cases that people come up with, it's just that it's the most profitable one for carriers, so it's the only one they'll support.)
Of course, this could also be accomplished with DTV tuners, but there's a much higher probability of users having a 5G chipset on their phone than having a DTV tuner capable of tuning to multiple channels and an antenna.
It's the same as what the app is currently doing, just with multicast groups instead of singlecast. And by doing so, you reduce the network load by N/M, where N is the number of users and M is the number of streams each user runs on average.
Don't get me wrong, I understand that this probably isn't currently implemented, but that's the kind of thing we should be looking at, before we decide to screw up weather forecasting and radioastronomy so that you can see your NAAAYYSSSCARR.
Even 5G is going to get eaten up under certain types of load, so it makes much more sense to look at ways to reduce traffic, the easiest of which is broadcasting rather than singlecast.
This isn't the place for cheap comments like that.
Even if you have a point ideologically speaking we live in the real world where consumer money talks louder than forum comments. 5G is coming whether we like it or not because of people wanting to stream data for entertainment.
Personally, I used my home gigabit extensively the first few months... but a year later I frequently find myself still tethered to my cellphone's 4G plan. It doesn't make a difference except once in a blue moon when I want to download something big.
5G is also going to need to have better coverage than anything ever made before if its to replace in home wifi. As it stands I drop calls when I walk into different rooms of my house on the data connection. 4G drops to 3G or even edge all the time going in and out or between buildings. That being said, I'm waiting to see what route telecoms pounce on to force us into 5G use. Will they degrade other data connections or go the planned obsolescence route? Either way, they are going to get their return, this isn't done out of technical altruism.
Edit: that said, I would probably also be pretty happy with a 4G plan that I could use for this purpose.
Anti zero-rating laws prevent broader adoption in U.S. (and possibly for good reason. Can't have 2-3 pay-for-play gatekeeping apps to the Internet)
There's an international petition  and one in Switzerland  that I know of - please sign if you agree.
The high frequency ranges suggested for 5G seems useless, they'll barely be able to penetrate windows.
Increased coverage would be far more helpful than faster speed in most countries.
But suppose I wasn't a neoluddite and I was easily excited by digital salt shakers. As it stands, all of these products could be using wifi, which would still give me, the consumer, the ability to firewall them. That would let me access them on my LAN without letting them talk on the internet. The idea of putting 5G radios in them instead of wifi radios seems to be to deprive me, the consumer, of the opportunity to firewall them.
If you want an automatically adjusting fridge, that can and should be implemented without the cell radio too. Put a RFID chips in food packaging that requests a particular temperature; the fridge then sets itself to the lowest temperature requested. A fridge that instead broadcasts the contents of your fridge to some corporation that does not have your best interests at heart is an abomination, but I do not doubt that whichever corporation starts selling them will try to mask this by framing their spy devices as ecologically friendly to make it seem morally unassailable.
 I have to also say generally, as some of the MVNOs do tend to lower data prices over time. There are some bargains to be had there, just with lower network prioritization.
As it is, there are some cheaper options as well (eg, consumer cellular or other MVNOs).
Summing up some of the other comments: 5G isn't about (personal) communication per se. No more "accessing the cloud". With 5G we'll be wrapped in the cloud. Etc.
I'm not saying it's imperative we go there. Only that that's where we're headed. For better of worse. Like it or not.
Talking to myself
Crying out loud
Only I can hear me, I'm
Stuck inside a cloud
Last thing I need is a data connection so fast it can burn through my data cap in 5 seconds.
You're doing that thing where people say it isn't something only to reveal in a few extra sentences that you mean the opposite. "It's not imperative but its going to certainly happen."
Just the facts Jack :)
pretendscholar is asserting that because it will happen, it must happen. You're arguing that it need not despite the fact that it will.
So the quoted comment to me says "it doesn't need to happen (not imperative) but it's what likely will happen (where it's going)". No internal inconsistency.
We need 5G for self driving cars
We need 5G for industry automation
We need 5G for IoT (because that makes so much sense, lol)
We need 5G for ...
Or, you know, it's not like traffic signals move around on their own, so they could just be hardwired.
So 5G is not needed for that purpose at all.
The sub-GHz 802.11 seems to be uniquely american thing. And maybe just pushing anything over RF is somewhat uniquely Czech thing (caused by the fact, that Czech spectrum allocation has somewhat unique additional 10GHz ISM band), but in Prague there is an giant nest of smallish microwave antennas on every tenth street light pole (the extreme is probably Malostranske namesti, where there is 10GHz link between two traffic signals that spans about 70m).
Also, while its true one could just wire up all of these fixed devices, these wiring costs would massively drive up the cost of implementation. Trenching city streets to lay new cables costs a lot of money, just ask Google.
A cell tower has more than a single channel and a city with a thousand traffic lights is going to have many cells, so using existing cellular generations is not going to run into problems with collisions from 1000 traffic signals trying to send data at once.
My point is that a city with a thousand traffic lights will be covered by hundreds if not thousands of cells, so the issue of traffic lights competing for bandwidth for a single source is non existent.
And this problem doesn't change for 2G, 3G, 4G, or even 5G. Perhaps 5G can scale better but if you had a single 5G tower covering an entire city, it too would run out of capacity.
So the shorter distance the 5g signals go also mean more towers with more connections. My point is, don’t focus on the speed as being the huge innovation, it’s the number of devices possible. Although once it’s available, you will see apps come out that you may not have expected that take advantage of the higher speeds to do cool things.
But yes, we need to move in the direction of 5g or something similar to allow the tech you listed to take off.
In all likelihood prices will go up as 5G requires a massive infrastructure deployment of very expensive hardware, spectrum licensing, and they'll have to pay to transmit and receive that data to the internet. All of those additional costs will be passed on to customers.
...that said, from the other comments, it sounds like 5G would make this issue worse...
5G is more like roaming wifi, and the data rate drops rapidly to the point where (iirc) if you're more than a couple of hundred meters from a tower it's no better than LTE. Why would I want this?
If we were all happy to sit on our own in silence, eating the same local crop day in, day out, then very little would be developed.
The biggest first off would likely be the end of wifi as we know it, so in turn, an increasing number of IoT devices for the home/workplace/elsewhere would be built without the need for complicated wifi setup, and all syncing between devices would likely be done using a cellular setup. "Cable" would likely completely go away, where companies like Verizon realize they can deliver all TV over their 5g network. The constraints relating to numbers of devices on a wifi router will be backgrounded, ect.
Another key piece is that there will be far more nodes in a 5g deployment, so you could do better triangulation for GPS. It will have lower latency so even tighter real time applications can be done over the internet. This list can go on and on.
Can you explain what specifically about 5G makes this possible? I don't know anything about it, but if the logistics and pricing for it are anything like 4G, I have no interest in paying my telecom an extra $5/mo per device when I can throw them on my own network for free.
I'm skeptical, very, but the appeal is obvious if it works and the pricing isn't obscene.
I don't see any of these things happening with 5G.
Sure, if all that extra growth does not translate into increased well being for the median, or if it can't lift those out of poverty who need those efficiency gains that led to "growth", then, no, of course that growth is useless.
However. Growth is amoral, and most economists are trying to understand the economy, not normatively influence it. (Though there are a lot of oped and blogs by economists.) And how the economy works, how does that growth happens is not up to the "modern economy", it's up to people. Politics.
Modern economics is the religion of Cassandraism, anyone who understands what's going on is unable to persuade others. Look at how the Net Neutrality debate went down the drain, because somehow libertarian/dumb free market advocates can't comprehend that zero-touch no-regs complex systems have a tendency to end up in a pathological state. Or look at how people still can't believe that a bail-out was better for the economy short term, and how trying to do central planning without honest signals likely won't work.
And this doesn't mean that it's easy to figure out these things, or that there's a 100% idiot proof way to get magical silver-bullet solutions, far from it. But it seems pretty straightforward that blindly ignoring those who study these things all their lives and just repeating a mantra - be it socialism or libertarianism - is not exactly helpful.
But it's what like 90% of users use their devices for! :-/
Sorry about that, but you (and me) are a minority.
Nice emoticon, btw. It definitely didn't make me completely disregard your opinion.
End of the day, as shitty as Spectrum and Comcast are, they are a better devil then the AT&T corporate offspring.
As I understand it, 5G is more about network scalability than about improving end-user experience (though of course end-user experience falls off a cliff if the network reaches saturation).
That being said there's absolutely no reason why 5G (or even 4G or low Earth orbit Sat) couldn't compete with cable companies on latency. In many places 4G is already lower latency than existing cable networks.
Edit to add: 4G also already offers fast enough connections for 4K and in many places 8K streaming. It's the total capacity that isn't there - they have to put data caps on so people don't do all their streaming on their mobile connection. 5G is more about removing data caps than providing faster speeds.
This doesn't seem like pseudoscience to me, but I don't really have context here. Is this considered to be a poor study or a disreputable journal?
Edit: Apparently it's been cited 61 times since publication: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=270710047801738518
Edit 2: Okay, there's definitely skepticism: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/cell-phones-kill-bees-study_n...
I'm not sure if I'd call this "pseudoscience" as much as "speculative and controversial."
"All insects showed a general increase in absorbed RF power at and above 6 GHz, in comparison to the absorbed RF power below 6 GHz. Our simulations showed that a shift of 10% of the incident power density to frequencies above 6 GHz would lead to an increase in absorbed power between 3–370%."
It doesn't seem like pseudoscience to me either. In fact it looks to me like more real science needs be done on this subject, to figure out if there is a real danger or not.
(I recall much longer discussion, but could not find)
Regardless of the veracity of the bee thing though, I think the salient point is that having lots of EM radiation in the environment will have non-obvious effect, so we should seek a rationale FOR the technology, rather than need a reason to reject it.
(thanks to adsfqwop and avip for providing context below.)
Citation needed, this seems like FUD.
"Panagopoulos et al.  exposed fruit flies (D. melanogaster) to radiation from a mobile phone (900 MHz) during the 2–5 first days of adulthood. The reproductive capacity of the species reduced by 50–60% in modulated radiation conditions."
"The authors concluded that radio frequencies, specifically GSM, are highly bioactive and provoke significant changes in physiological functions of living organisms."
The paper references over 100 studies in total on the subject of biological RF effects.
That's important. Our own interests are important. It's equally important that we discuss why our interests are important enough to disallow others from pursuing theirs. And then persuade others to our side. So don't dismiss someone for having an opinion in contrast to anyone else, argue the opinion itself.
The black hole pic was cool, but you know what would make it even cooler and higher-res? Using the same technique with an even wider array (interplanetary) telescopes.
That's precisely what Millimetron/Spektr-M aims to do, but it still needs the ground part. You can't put the 100m Green Bank Telescope into orbit.
If it were about collectivism copyright would be about 5 years and noone would get paid more than a few times the median.
> Sure, but what is important for me or you individually is not how we should make decisions on policy affecting everyone collectively
A few or more of those and we have real loss in biodiversity. Maybe your "local river" can sustain that for a bit - but overall they are all important.
Maybe the economic benefit of 5G would be enough to justify a one time cost of a telescope launch, especially if US, EU, and Russia all pitch in.
See p.8 and 10 for those used in the current state of the art telescope at 160MHz https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/pdf/2013/08/aa20873-12.pdf
And https://cdr.skatelescope.org/#photos?lfaa for those used in the SKA, one of the largest future radio telescopes that is still under construction.
Getting the distances between the telescopes is actually easier in space. Both distance measuring and datatransmission could be done with lasers when there is a clear line of sight. Moreover, once an orbit is established, the laws of Kepler are 'followed' and predicting their mutual distances is something we can do extremely well. On Earth with very long baselines it is much trickier and things that need to be taken into consideration are cablelength differences due to temperature changes, tides and continental drift. (Continental drift is actually measured with radio telescopes: in the reverse problem when the location of a set of sources on the sky is known to high precision one can establish at what speed the distances between the telescopes is changing.)
Also, the positioning error isn't the whole story; there's also timing drift. Rubidium GPS-disciplined oscillators actually drift too much instantaneously to be useful...
Besides, as another poster noted, VLBAs need extremely precise positioning which is just another rabbit hole. Spektr-R orbit determination was really tricky for its baseline of 300000+ km.
For an idea of scale, the entire VLA was built for ~80 megabucks. The entire Atacama Large Millimeter Array was built for 1.4 gigabucks.
Things have changed quite a bit over past 20 years. Launches are getting much cheaper now, and satellites are getting smaller. I imagine costs could be brought down, especially if the scope of the mission was limited to e.g. simple constellation for radiointerferometry.
I suspect an optical (laser) emitter could transmit either directly to Earth or to a retransmission satellite at GSO that already has a beefy radio downlink, and also serves as a regular comm sat.
A primary design goal was terrestrial signal rejection; we would get nuked by ABQ Traffic Control radar etc.
I haven't kept up. I suppose I should find out.
Despite the fact that this spectrum has never been used for any widespread purpose, we're rolling it out and the burden is not on the implementers to prove that it is safe. It's basically on researchers to both prove, publicize, and convince society as a whole that 5G has health impacts.
I am not going to go all conspiracy-theory and say that the research is being suppressed but certainly funding for this research is not going to be a priority for the US government, as they've been thoroughly bought and paid for. Most research into health effects of non-ionizing radiation is not funded from the US government, so draw your own conclusions from that.
Your neighbor can blast 24 ghz right at your house with a free licence:
The reason microwaves (like from a microwave oven) are dangerous are because of their power levels. Like, they'd cook you if they leaked out. Not because of ionizing radiation.
ctrl-f for "PhD" shows 126 results on the page.
Electromagnetic radiation is used as a signaling medium for countless lifeforms on earth, including the cells and microbes in our own bodies.
Imagine if some alien creature decided they wanted to flash relatively bright blue light across the entire surface planet, day and night at frequencies that known to induce epileptic seizures. It'd affect your quality of life and mine. For some people, it'd be devastating.
Just because we can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there.
I fail to see how a blanket dismissal of peoples concerns, however uninformed many of them may be, counts as "rational"!
Instead of appeals to authority, why can't we work with the facts and evidence that we have already (those overwhelmingly disproving the health hazards of 5G)?
"Peoples concerns" equate to the desire to halt all human progress out of some bizarre mix of paranoia and Neo-Luddism.
Yeah well, I'd like to see that overwhelming evidence please.
But since, I am not a biologist nor physicist, I could not really examine it in detail. So I would have to believe the authorative power of the experts who day it is all good.
Then I compare the arguments to the experts who say yes.
It's an inconvenient possibility (not going to call it truth) that our technology might be hurting us. We're addicted to technology the same way smokers are addicted to nicotine.
Smoking was at one time considered healthy and promoted by doctors, and now where are we?
If it doesn't cook you like microwaves or causes radiation sickness 3 hours after exposure it is immediately declared universally safe.
Of course that's negligent at best. Looks like we will live through in vivo testing for those questions, I suppose.
I took a random one for the country I live in:
According to wikipedia, this person who got his PhD in 1973 and has since retired has done research in 'quantum philosophy and spirituality'.
The second one, retired also, is a biologist who researched subterranean mammals. He and his team got an Ig-Nobel price in 2014 for their finding that dogs align themselves to earth's magnetic field when pooping.
I'm not sure I want to continue.
Well actually that seems like relevant information for this topic, because if that is true it means that dogs can sense magnetic fields. And as we know RF waves are composed of both an electric and magnetic component.
So this guy might actually know something that the rest of us do not know. If dogs can sense magnetic fields, it means electromagnetic radiation could have an unknown impact on their sense of direction. Sounds important to me.
Here's another guy that seems to know what he is talking about.
Prof. Olle Johansson, Ph.D., Dept. of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
Seems like someone you might want to listen to, especially since he has participated in several studies on this subject:
You can also find his talks on the subject on Youtube, which I suggest people watch. They are very easy to listen to, and provides a good introduction to these topics.
Then we have this guy:
Dr. Paul Héroux, Ph.D., Director, Occupational Health Program, McGill University; InvitroPlus Labs, Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University, Canada
He was commissioned by the electrical power companies to actually invent the RF dosimeter in 1991, that many use now to gauge exposure levels.
I'd certainly want to know what he has to say. Let's look at some of the rest:
Several publications relating EMF exposure. I think we want to know what he has to say also.
So perhaps you should not have give up so easily, and continued to look a little further instead. We want to look for the people who have the expertise in this field, and listen to what they have to say.
To finish off, I'd like to know where are the scientists that have studied this subject as extensively as someone like Heroux or Johansson, and are willing to sign their names on a pledge of microwave safety for all of humanity. I haven't seen such a list.
"The 5G recommendation for global irradiation. Go ahead, we take responsibility for full irradiation." In fact there is no such recommendation, as both insurance companies and even the cellular manufacturers are increasingly distancing themselves from liability.
That's what I call a clue.
Show me one species that uses GHz signalling.
Nope, they wouldn't. The standing wave would break down as soon as it left the enclosure. It would still be a potentially harmful amount of radiation, but not like that.
And no, 24 GHz is not in common use. It's used for special applications, mostly highly directional tower-to-tower links (I have one sitting on my roof for a high-bandwidth HAM radio link). With 5G, it will be ubiquitous in an unprecedented way. We've already seen plenty of interference with 5 GHz.
Of course, there's a lot of fearmongering whenever RF radiation is involved, but there are genuine safety concerns.
Source: HAM radio operator
Professor also admonished us that such technicians must always be infinitely certain that the transmitter is not operational at the time of service.
It's a good thing your professor is not a tower technician.
No self respecting technician climbs up a tower without knowing his potential exposure.
There is a reason both the US FCC and EU ICNIRP have guidelines for human exposure, and if you are a tower technician you wear a personal RF densitometer to ensure you are not exposed above these levels.
"Electromagnetic field densitometers, as used in the cellular phone industry, are referred as "personal RF safety monitors", personal protection monitors (PPM) or RF exposimeters. They form part of the personal protective equipment worn by a person working in areas exposed to radio spectrum radiation."
And even with a densitometer, when working on high-powered live equipment, you also wear a protective suit:
I hope you forward this information to your professor. Industrial RF radiation is not something you want to play around with.
Not so when it's a huge multi-tier tower - that's your whole body facing the tower getting that dose.
I'm a software engineer, a technologist, by trade and I was in complete denial about this until I started getting serious eczema that only went away when I stopped using wireless gadgets and avoided staying too long in areas with cellular base stations.
I denied and denied and denied but repeated experiments on myself only revealed how my body reacts to this stuff. My ideal power density is less than 1mW/m^2 to not break out. And there seems to be a relationship to what LTE bands the tower is transmitting on - outside the US I seem to do better. It could be the frequency, or could be the modulation.
You can erase all references to your professor and swimwear tower climbing from the text. Hats off to him! And again, sorry for the mistake.
Still, I couldn't resist a vision not unlike the penultimate and electrifying golf scene with Bill Murray & the bishop in Caddyshack.
Yeah that's a good point
>And no, 24 GHz is not in common use. It's used for special applications, mostly highly directional tower-to-tower links (I have one sitting on my roof for a high-bandwidth HAM radio link).
That's what I mean by common use. Omnidirectional antennas aren't in common use.
But microwave links are P2P and directional, using narrow beams at a certain height so that humans (or other objects) don't get in the way. That will not be the case with 5G.
The thing about sweat glands is interesting. And sadly I have no idea how to evaluate the quality of the studies linked.
The bad news is that there are and will be entrenched interests that will likely try to "work around" any health concern, and maybe, potentially we will hear that the existence of 5G is worth it. (For example the tech advantage helps with healthcare more than the radiation harms us.)