We are living in a developing society, where the society is in a state of rapid flux and continuous change. The world is contributing more in field of technological upgradations. We started from 1G network and now we have outstretched to 5G connectivity. There is a constant debate over the implementation of 5G network. we have hooked to our phones through 4G network from a long time as a source of our entertainment, news, and to commerce, but the upcoming generation of network may change our way of interaction with internet.
5G assures to revolutionize mobile broadband and it seems to be a big generational gap over the existing 4G technology. This technology will be capable of ensuring fast internet, support streaming of rich media, helps power IOT etc. There is a deep concern over the implementation of such network.
WHAT IS 5G AND WHEN WILL IT ROLL OUT IN INDIA
5th generation mobile network (5G) is a new wireless technology after 1G,2G,3G, and 4G. this network is designed to connect everyone virtually including machines, objects, and devices. The main feature of this network is to deliver higher multi-Gbps data speed, more uniform users, huge network capacity etc.
5G network will provide greater bandwidth, giving higher download speed. This network has reached out in many countries. The government of India has stated that they will roll out the 5G service as early in 2022.[i] Bharti Airtel, Jio, Reliance, Idea has been given limited spectrum for the trial of 5G technology in India.
- JUHI CHAWLA CASE
On 4th June, in the case of Ms. Juhi Chawla & Ors. V. Science and Engineering Research Board and Ors., [ii]a bench of Delhi High Court it was observed that the plaintiff has filed the suit against the roll out of 5G telecommunication service in India. The main concern stated by plaintiff was that government should restrain from taking any further step in rolling out of 5G network.
Ms. Juhi Chawla is an environmentalist and she stated that implementation of such network is injurious to human, animal and plant life. The plaintiff further argued that the impact of EMF radiations has acted as ‘silent killer’ [iii]that is contained in air and necessary measures should to be taken to stop further destruction of environment.
The bench, consisting of Justice J.R. Midha, dismissed the suit by saying that the plaintiff has abused and misused the power of law and has wasted judicial time. The plaintiff was made to pay 20 lakh rupees to the court. Further, it was observed by the court that the suit filed by the plaintiff was a “Media Publicity Suit”.[iv]
IMPACT OF 5G RADIATION ON HUMAN HEALTH
It is claimed that with the advent of 5G network more powerful waves will emit more radiation and will cause more harm to humans as well as other living beings. 5G uses higher frequencies as compared to previous networks. Electromagnetic frequencies are produced by 5G, creates an area called electromagnetic field (EMF). Some people claims that EMFs have negative impact on human health.
As 5G is the latest wireless technology, it will require more towers in order to ensure better connectivity and since it will not only power our smartphones but also other devices, it will increase human exposure to such radiation. Radiation at high levels, known as ‘Ionizing radiation’, will heat up our brain cells and can even lead to brain cancer.
According to WHO, after research, there has been no adverse effect on health due to exposure to wireless technologies. As the frequency increases, there is less penetration into body tissues and absorption of the energy becomes more confined to the surface of the body.[v]
PROS AND CONS OF 5G NETWORK
The world is expecting that 5G will transform their lives. with its implementation we have to acknowledge its advantages and disadvantages.
- Consumers will be able to take pleasure out of 5G by getting higher speed than before. You have to be close to 5G towers with your 5G phones, to download any file in seconds. As compared to other networks 5G will provide high speed up to 20 Gbps.
- 5G will solve the issue of tower congestion. As with current 4G LTE if people gather in a crowd at an area the towers get congested and reach capacity reduces.
- 5G network will impact on global economy. It will create more job opportunities because for implementation of 5G more equipment’s will be used.
- Talking about AI, VR and others 5G will create new technological options. It can open doors for new smart device technology.
- Reduced latency will enable quick response, less than 5milliseconds. low latency will support new applications, such as IOT, AI etc.
- one of the major cons of 5G network is its limited coverage. It is available in specific locations mainly in popular areas. It will take years to reach in remote areas. Developing areas seems to take advantage of 5G network first.
- 5G is expensive as well as time consuming because it will not travel as far as 4G and for its even coverage more towers will be installed.
- Battery consumption of smartphones plays an important role. Consumers need long lasting battery but many consumers have observed that 5G depletes battery and makes devices hot.
- 5G will require new approach to cyber security. Hackers will able to access data and information from consumers devices. It can increase the risk of cyber-crime.
The evolution of technology has been observed from years. We have seen multiple generations of technology. 5G has hotly anticipated that it will change the behavior of people in response to technology. the topic of 5G implementation has fabricated a huge debate over its pros and cons and its impacts on health. We don’t have a clear picture of how it impacts our environment. Several studies have carried out by WHO but no major impact has been declared. We cannot completely conclude that how 5G will commute our lives.
Author’s Name: Muskan Pandey (Prestige Institute of Management and Research, Department of Law)
[v] WHO on 5G mobile network and health https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/radiation-5g-mobile-networks-and-health