A Parliament-first inquiry into 5G mobile technology in Australia tabled its report in the House yesterday. Committee Chair Dr David Gillespie says the inquiry saw the need for 5G to connect Australia and allow for a wave of innovation and opportunities not seen before
“The Committee heard that Australia has the opportunity to be a 5G world leader. “
How Australia will get there
The committee has agreed that the following recommendations have to be followed for Australia:
- The speedy allocation of spectrum needed for 5G
- Better management of ageing and redundant mobile network infrastructure and equipment
- A focus on road and transport safety standards, with carriers working alongside state and territory road and transport authorities
- The installation of multiuser infrastructure, and conducting of 5G trials, in rural and regional areas
- The Australian Government encourage manufacturing of 5G infrastructure in Australia, with potential partnerships with the United Kingdom, United States of America, New Zealand and Canada
- The establishment of a 5G R&D Innovation Fund
- A focus on Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management
- Better consultation between Australian Government agencies and members of the community concerned about the deployment of 5G
- A focus on ensuring that the ICT workforce is appropriately skilled
- Campaigns to increase local government and enterprise awareness of 5G
Is 5G Dangerous?
5G, the next-generation cellular networking technology following 4G LTE, uses the power of millimeter wave spectrum, which has sparked some pretty scary sounding conspiracy theories.
There has always been anxiety revolving radio frequency radiation. You’ve surely heard rumours such as “don’t sleep with your phone next to your head, you might get brain damaged!” or “don’t stay on the phone for more than 30 minutes, it increases your chance of cancer!” due to concerns of the radio waves put out by mobile devices. However, the radio waves put out by mobile devices is at the low-energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum, making them much safer than high-energy radiation like X-rays and gamma rays.
Dr Ken Karipidis of Australia’s radiation safety government body, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, said the agency was satisfied radiation exposure levels fell well below Australian standards, which are based on international guidelines, giving us a pretty confidence response that 5G is not dangerous.
“From previous technologies – 2G, 3G and 4G – exposure has not only been below the standards, but has been many thousands of times below the standards. This is in terms of the towers.
“As long as exposure to radiofrequency is below the current Australian standards then there are no established health effects,” he said.
“A lot of people are scared about 5G like it’s something different. It’s not. It uses radio frequency fields just like older technologies.
We should be excited!
Australia is about to become a leader in 5G Technologies, which will be great for the economy, and our technological advancements.
The current inqury does not have a Government response yet, but once is due soon. The report was tabled on the 12th of May 2020.