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Jeff Kagan: Is 5G Wireless a Health Safety Concern or Not?

As 5G wireless continues to roll out across America, safety advocates once again are warning us about health safety concerns. Let's take a closer look at whether there is a real risk with smartphones.
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.
Equities columnist Jeff Kagan is a telecom, technology and wireless analyst and consultant. He covers 5G, AI, IoT, the metaverse, autonomous driving, healthcare, telehealth, pay TV and more. Follow him at and on Twitter @jeffkagan and LinkedIn.


The rollout of 5G is coming on strong and just like with 3G and 4G, that means wireless safety advocates are revving up their engines with all sorts of warnings. In fact, expect these warnings to be bigger and louder than ever. With every new generation of technology, everything gets louder.

The question is this: Is there a health or safety threat with 5G, or is this concern a lot of noise about nothing?

Just like in the past, there does not seem to be any proof either way. If there was proof, the problem would be addressed. However, that reality won’t quite anything down.

Let me say, like you, I don’t have a clue one way or the other. And I don’t know anyone else who really knows either. So, I am neutral on the subject.

There are many studies into this subject from countries all over the world. That raises concern, but the problem is, there is no proof. Only conjecture on the data we have.

If there was proof, the wireless industry would solve the problem

Like with politics, people are on one side or the other. Based on these studies, everyone I ask is either neutral, or has opinions, fears and warnings. However, without facts, we cannot solve this problem if there really is a problem.

After all, if there is something to be concerned about, like you, I don’t want my family to be impacted. On the other hand, if this is just a lot of noise, who has time to waste being bothered?

We can’t ask the wireless networks. They don’t know about handsets. And the smartphone makers say there is no problem. If there were, they would fix it.

So, from the industry, all we hear is the quiet sound of nothing. Except of course for all the deafening PR, advertising and marketing messages geared at firing up the 5G growth engines from every player in the business for the next decade. As it should be.

The noise comes from the other side… safety advocates.

Is new skull bone spur finding related to smartphones?

There was a new story in recent weeks about bone growth at the back of the skull of some humans. Newscasters speculate this is because we are using wireless smartphones. They of course don’t know.

Others say this has been developing for years because of the way we bend our heads to use computers. Bottom line, no one really knows where this is coming from.

The iPhone and Android have only been with us for more than a decade. The entire cell phone industry and computer industry have only been with us for a few decades. Is that enough time to screw up our human DNA?

Who knows? And that’s the problem. There is too much speculation and not enough facts.

If we had facts, every smartphone and computer maker could and would solve this problem. After all, why would Apple AAPL, Google GOOGL, Samsung, Huawei, Motorola, HTC and countless other smartphone makers screw around with their reputation and profitability?

If the 5G wireless health warning is true, it would be fixed

If there is truth to this warning, you would think every smartphone maker would do whatever they had to do to protect the user. After all, they don’t want to be driven out of business with damaging technology, right?

So, the way I see it, that’s the best clue. After all these years, if we don’t have proof, when will we? If there was a real problem the smartphone makers themselves would fix it just to protect their ability to keep selling devices.

Don’t let this fact lull you into a false sense of security. The threats and concerns will play themselves out just like they did with every previous version of wireless technology. And I expect this to continue for many years going forward, generation after generation.

In the early days of the 2G and 3G world, when all of this technology was still very new, this fear was real. Back then, I even wondered whether or not there was a there, there. But as the years have passed, the fear seems to have abated.

That’s the good news. Now, there are suddenly news stories about bone growth on the skull. Where did that come from? So, what should we think of all this conflicting information and claims? Who knows?

Now, once again, activists are gearing up for another round of wireless radiation warnings. Scientists are not as certain, but they cannot give the green light either.

So, as always, that leaves users with a decision to make. Are you going to continue to use your smartphone or not?

Nearly doubled amount of wireless data we use over last year

Either way, as a society I can assure you we aren’t going to stop using our smartphones. In fact, in 2018 we nearly doubled the amount of wireless data that we use over the prior year. That says to me that even though these warnings are still flying around, we are still using our smartphones more than ever and it’s a trend that isn’t stoppin anytime soon.

So, bottom line, while after many years of following this topic, it is as clear as mud. To tell you the truth, I don’t believe there is a safety issue with 5G. After all, we’ve had years and generations of updated wireless technology.

On the other hand, we simply do not know for a cold, hard fact one way or the other. And I don’t know anyone else who does.

That’s my opinion anyway, I welcome yours.

Jeff Kagan is an columnist. Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Telecom Analyst, Industry Analyst, Influencer, speaker and consultant. He follows wireless, wire line, telecom, Internet, pay TV, cable TV, IPTV, Cloud, Mobile Pay and communications technology. Email him at [email protected] His web site is Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan.

Equities Contributor: Jeff Kagan

Source: Equities News

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