Facts and fiction about 5G


Fact check

“Trees are cut down because they block 5G signals and, in addition to this, more space is required for new transmitter antennas.”


Trees, buildings, vehicles and even rain can influence how 5G signals propagate. However, this is considered when planning telephone installations. So, it is untrue that trees are cut down due to 5G.

Sources: Ralf Nowotny / mobile telephone operator

“Standing in the beam of a 5G antenna can cause health issues. Children are particularly affected because their thin skulls allow radiation to penetrate deeper than in adults.”

Based on current scientific knowledge and after 30 years of research, there is no proof of health issues due to antennas if the limits are observed.

Sources: FOEN, Swiss Research Foundation for Electricity and Mobile Communication (FSM)

“5G affects blood flow in the brain and the quality of sperm, disturbs genetic information and leads to the death or oxidative stress of cells.”

The only proven harmful effect of mobile radiation is excessive heating of tissue. The limits for mobile telephony prevent these thermal effects from happening, in particular for sensitive population groups.

Sources: FOEN, Swiss Research Foundation for Electricity and Mobile Communication (FSM), asut

“Hundreds of birds died during 5G trials in the Netherlands, because of 5G’s high frequency radiation.”

No 5G trial was conducted in The Hague during the period in question.

In October and November 2018, hundreds of starlings did indeed die in Huygenspark, The Hague.

Cause of death: the birds, as well as eating the harmless berries, also ate the toxic needles of yew trees.

Source: mimikama with links to other sources.

“5G causes cancer”

The 5G that will be used in coming years is very similar to 4G (LTE) in terms of its technology and therefore its biological effects.
According to current scientific information, it is not possible to establish a link between mobile telephony radiation and potential health problems.

Available data about cancer can still be uncertain.
So, as a precautionary measure, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has qualified mobile phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic” along with coffee and bitumen emissions (and not as “carcinogenic” or “probably carcinogenic” which are the two higher classifications).

90 % of individual radiation exposure comes from the mobile phone.

Sources: Ligue suisse contre le cancer (Swiss league against cancer), Swiss Research Foundation for Electricity and Mobile Communication (FSM); Dr. Gregor Dürrenberger, Director of the FSM

“5G kills bees.”

Jean-Daniel Charrière, scientific advisor, Agroscope, the French agricultural research confederation centre of expertise: “None of the studies conducted on the topic to date have been able to establish that electromagnetic pollution is a problem for bees.”

Source: Berner Zeitung BZ dated 2 May 2017

“Public appeals such as 5gspaceappeal.org claim that 5G is a totally new technology and is much more harmful than 4G. According to these appeals, people sensitive to electrical waves will be much more affected.”

The concerns presented in the appeals, petitions, etc. pertain to millimetre waves and the band of frequencies between 26 GHz and 300 GHz. Following the spectrum allocations in Europe, these frequencies are not present at all and so will not be available for 5G mobile technology.

The 5G frequencies allocated in Europe for the moment are very similar in nature to those used currently and over the last 30 years for mobile technologies and cover a range of frequencies between 700 MHz and 3.8 GHz. Some of the newly allocation frequencies were previously used for radio and TV transmissions. This is why there is no expectation of a major change in terms of radiation exposure.

There are numerous studies on electromagnetic sensitivity. Double-blind laboratory studies have not been able to show that radiation from mobile technology has an impact on well-being.

Sources: Prof. Röösli, Director of BERENIS, consultative group of Swiss experts on non-ionising radiation at the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) in 20 Minutes on 14/02/2019; SRF Arena on 8 March 2019; interview in the Beobachter on 1 February 2018; press documents at the ComCom on 8 February 2019

“5G is useless. 4G is more than enough.”

5G will help solve the capacity problems on the current 4G mobile networks. What is more, 5G is essential to enter the digital and innovation age in Europe.

Beyond enhanced mobile communications, 5G will pave the way for many new applications such as home automation (IoT), medical applications (eHealth), image processing applications (Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality) or for smart traffic management.

Source: ComCom 9 Nov. 2017 and 8 Feb. 2019

“5G uses lots of energy and negatively affects the climate.”

5G is more efficient that all the previous technologies. To transmit the same quantity of data, 5G requires less energy that 4G for example.

5G also makes quicker transmissions and transmissions dedicated to sensors and controls possible, resulting in better communication between connected objects and better management of the energy used for these communications.
In this way, 5G can contribute to environmental and climatic targets.

Sources: mobile telephone operator, Swiss Federal Office of Energy, Darrell M. West (Founding director of the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings), Tech4i2 Ltd