Making waves: the raging debate over 5G



Have you seen signs on the lawns of neighbors proclaiming the harms of 5G? Would you like to understand what 5G is, how it works, how it differs from current technology and why it matters? Co-hosts Jim Love, CIO of ITWC, and Doug Sparkes, lecturer at the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business, answer frequently asked 5G questions and have fun at the same time in the first segment of Deeper Dive – Series Two, an ITWC podcast series sponsored by Wipro Canada.


5G without the hype begins by taking the listener to the Dutch metropolis of Groningen, where an unidentified man disrupts a quiet Friday night by setting fire to a cell tower. With this foul play, he joins a wave of 5G protests that have targeted cell phone towers and related equipment in the UK, Europe and North America.

Love and Sparkes highlight the ironies of many of these attacks, citing a variety of cases that bear witness to misdirected protests. In numerous recorded incidents, they claim that the damaged towers were for older 3G and 4G services and had nothing to do with 5G. In other cases, attacks purportedly aimed at ensuring public health have caused serious damage by disabling communications systems in hospitals.

“Even more ironic,” says Sparkes, “many 5G use cases involve improving healthcare services in areas ranging from safer patient transport to remote surgery.”

Magic and science

Sharing a childhood memory of rewiring her radio to listen to a remote Chicago station, Love delves into the magic of wireless transmission. Trigger riffs about it to explain the science of electromagnetic waves, something that comes into play whether it’s Love’s old analog tube radio or 5G. A discussion of AM radio versus FM radio quite naturally shifts to cellular radio and the frequencies required to support modern communications.

The big deal about all of this, as discussed by Love and Sparkes, isn’t just faster transmission of movies and lower latency, but rather how lower latency is able to open. new applications that may appear to be in real time. “This is where you can start to imagine the potential of things like remote surgery and self-driving cars,” says Sparkes.

For Love, that means a lot more connections, a wealth of data, and the need for a lot more cells that are closer together. “This is the power and the challenge of 5G,” he says. “On the one hand, you have a small group of people who vehemently oppose it. On the other hand, there are many who argue that 5G will revolutionize all aspects of our increasingly mobile and digital lives. “

Sit back, have a coffee and listen to this episode of 5G Without the Hype.



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