The debate of the week. For or against the use of 5G? The answers to the questions you ask yourself

5G, what is it?

5G is the fifth generation of cellular networks. In the early 1990s, 2G made it possible for the first mobile phones to make calls and send the first text messages. In the 2000s, 3G appeared and also offered unlimited internet access. In the following decade, 4G arrived, allowing the use of new applications such as video or access to development applications. Since the 2020s, 5G has been used to improve existing services and offer new ones, especially by exchanging larger amounts of data without network congestion.

What is it for ?

First, 5G aims to avoid network congestion. The consumption of mobile data has exploded in recent years. This new technology makes it possible to achieve up to ten times faster connection speeds and deliver data faster thanks to a denser network. These advances encourage the development of new services in various fields such as health (with telemedicine, prevention of chronic diseases, etc.), transport (autonomous shuttles, remote control of vehicles in sensitive areas, etc.), connected objects, virtual reality, etc. Finally, 5G makes possible thanks the use of antennas with steerable beams, the use of data “on demand”, as opposed to the continuous exposure generated by 4G.

On which frequencies?

That’s expected in France 5G will be deployed on multiple frequency bands : the bands already used for the current 2G/3G and 4G networks (known as “low bands”) and two new bands not yet allocated to mobile networks, the 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands . Auctions for the 3.5 GHz band ended in October 2020 and the National Frequencies Agency (ANFR) began approving the establishment of sites following requests from operators from November 2020. Auctions for the 26 GHz band should include this year to take place, however no further dates have been announced. Experiments on this frequency continue.

Why is she asking questions?

Since the launch of 5G deployment in 2020, several controversies have ensued between its supporters and hunters. President Emmanuel Macron had compared opponents of this technology to the “Amish” who advocated a “return to the oil lamp”.. The day before, 70 left-wing personalities had demanded this statement in a forum a moratorium on this technology. In a trip that became famous Since then, Éric Piolle, the mayor of Grenoble, Europe Écologie-Les Verts (EELV), had stated: “Roughly speaking, 5G is intended to allow you to watch porn films in HD even when you are in your elevator. Beyond the small political phrases, several questions arise about the use of this new technology. Firstly, the fact that equipped terminals are needed for its use, which should lead to greater renewal of equipment and therefore greater waste production. But also higher power consumption.

The stress from the waves will also increase as more ligaments are opened. However, it should be remembered that all radio devices are subject to strict limits. L’ National Agency for Food, Environment and Occupational Safety (ANSES) considers it unlikely that the expansion of 5G in the 3.5 GHz frequency band will entail new health risks, because for the 26 GHz band, which should be opened from 2023, “there is currently not enough data out to infer the existence or not of health effects”.

➤ Where is the deployment in Isère?

At 1ah As of January 1, 2023, 38,132 5G sites have been approved in France by the four incumbent operators (including 29,300 in operation and almost 15,000 by Free, well ahead of the others). In Isère, the arrival of 5G continues gradually. After which allows the data of the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications, Post and Press Circulation (Arcep) to be consulted on a map, 712 sites in the department are equipped for this new technology, including almost 400 for Free Mobile. Grenoble has nearly 70 technically operational (but not necessarily all operational). Overall, 5G antennas are fairly well distributed throughout the department, although obviously some areas are still poorly served by cellular networks. The National Frequency Agency (ANFR) predicts that the network will need to be 100% 5G by 2023.

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