Obaka Abel Inabo
One would have dismissed the controversy about 5G technology and the bizarre connection with coronavirus being vociferously pursued by some people as ignorant outbursts caused by the morbid fear of the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic, but with the prevailing circumstances of anxiety, fear and tension, I have chosen to say something in order to clarify the controversy. I am also concerned with the involvement of the clergy in the controversy in which they linked the ravaging COVID-19 with the G5 technology. That is to how ludicrous the controversy has degenerated!
The 5G means 5th Generation Mobile Technology. Of course, most mobile telecommunications operations are currently running on 4G (4th Generation LTE and high-speed mobile internet). Previously, we have had 3G (voice and mobile data) and 2G (digital voice) as well as the 1G (analog voice), indubitably. It is trite to state that the mobile telecommunications industry is in all probability one of the most innovative and fastest developing of all known ICT. Maybe, the other ICT will be television and aviation.
Of course, the 5G is the next level, after 4G, which will lift up the mobile network to not only interconnect people, but also interconnect and control machines, objects, and devices. In fact, the 5G will deliver new levels of performance and efficiency that will empower new user experiences and connect new industries. 5G is intended to deliver massive capacity, ultra-low latency, multi-Gbps, peak rates, and more uniform user-friendly experience.
I must not fail to point out that the 5G is similar to 4G but it has much better speed, low latency and has capacity to take more users on the go! What more, the 5G has the capability to improve the broadband which we are conversant with today to do more, connect more people and devices and as well as generating much revenue for the operators. It is certainly super-fast and has a much smaller cell site than any of the broadband we already know. And that is not unexpected as the world seems to be heading to smaller, especially in the world of ICT. In comparison, 5G is a unified platform that is more capable and accessible than 4G. A defining capability of 5G is also the design for forward compatibility—the ability to flexibly support future services that are unknown today.
Quintessentially, this is ICT that will redefine tour communication trajectory, the way we connect, entertain, shop, and of course, generally live our lives. If people thought the 3G and 4G changed the above-mentioned, 5G will transform them to suite our ever dynamic lifestyle. Parenthetically, there isn’t much more people really need as users to know about how 5G is delivered to their devices or homes, except that they should get ready for new applications, programmes and products such as devices, contents, apps, lifestyles, etc.. In addition, medical scans and other health results will also be delivered much faster than ever before, using the 5G technology. I now return to the conspiracies about the 5G and its unsustainable and erroneous connections to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of course, it is expected in times of trouble and great difficulties for troublemakers with a penchant for mischief to take undue advantage of the emotions, the fears and the vulnerabilities of others to peddle all sorts of gibberish, including conspiracy theories. I must state unambiguously that people in that business of mischief making are typically clever, but they are by half. So, on the issue of the connection between 5G and Coronavirus pandemic, nothing can be more ludicrously deceptive. The choice of this time to change the narrative against 5G makes it all too glaring. Obviously, there have been strategic campaigns against the 5G technology clearly driven by business and diplomacy interests which are propagated by an orchestrated campaign to disrepute the 5G innovation. How it got warped to the extent of establishing a link to COVID-19 is possibly the most important argument to debunk the fables.
To support the claim that 5G accelerates the new coronavirus, the conspirators refer to two theories. Firstly, that 5G might suppress the immune system and, secondly, that viruses can communicate through radio waves. Unquestionably, neither of these theories is backed up by any plausible evidence and indeed the new COVID-19 is also affecting countries and regions where no 5G is currently present. So what are we even talking about? It is balderdash! Remarkably, those who should know have come out strongly to debunk these preposterous theories. Just last week the UK government came out with perhaps the strongest and convincing rebuttal of these illusions of the fertile dreams of some self-proclaimed scientists. “There is absolutely no credible evidence of a link between 5G and coronavirus,” the UK’s department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) tweeted, noting that “inaccurate information” was being spread online about 5G. The DCMS pointed to research debunking the supposed link between 5G and the coronavirus, as well as links discussing the actual cause of the infection — direct exposure to COVID-19 particles spread through physical contact, not radio waves. Are the nascent and hybrid prophets of doom listening?
Emphatically speaking, I say there is no evidence that 5G networks are harmful to health. Like the previous generations of wireless network technology (4G, 3G and 2G), the 5G mobile data is transmitted over radio waves. Similar technologies that use radio waves include TV, smart meters and radio transmitters, as well as radar and satellite communications.
In addition, most modern medical laboratory equipment use radio waves, some use nuclear radiation, but they are used within the accepted limits and guidelines. Come to think about it, every medication for instance, has recommended dosage. Even too much food and drinks can become injurious to health. This is basically the same principle on which radio waves operate. There are acceptable safe limits, which are determined, specified, regulated and supervised by International Technology Regulatory bodies. That is a universal truth in international best practice.
It is very much regrettable and highly unfortunate that people should prey on the vulnerability and fears of others in a critical time like this. It is even absurd that pastors and preachers have deviated from their original calling and now dabbled into technology fables. Very regrettable because thousands of their adherents look up to them and take their words as final authority and infallible. Going down memory lane, one would even begin to wonder which generation of mobile technology facilitated the spread of the Spanish Flu aka Influenza, which ravaged the world between 1918 and 1920 and killed over 50 million people worldwide, including 500,000 Nigerians!
Abel Inabo, a Lecturer at NOUN, writes from Abuja