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IPhone12 will stop your implantable defibrillator
USA Created: 10 Jan 2021
In a recent paper in the journal Heart Rhythm, doctors describe how they turned off the potentially life-saving cardiac defibrillator function of an implanted Medtronic device simply by holding an iPhone 12 near it. The authors had nothing personal against Medtronic, or for that matter, against the new iPhone. The main reason they singled the phone out here was because it is compatible with some of the most advanced new technologies available for various magnetic-based communications and charging.

This technology, known as MagSafe, is basically harmless. It typically integrates charger, magnetometer and NFC reader into a compact package that depends on fairly decent alignment for efficient operation. The problem, at least for Medtronic, is the magnets that facilitate the positioning and docking. The iPhone 12, for example, has a ring of them around its central charging coil. In a nutshell, permanent magnets are never going away, they are simply a perfect solution to many gadget problems. Applications including securing cochlear implant links, joining cables and fastening wristbands now make extensive of use of strong, miniature magnets.

Unless companies like Medtronic get on board and move to smarter device configuration options, they will continue to butt heads with consumer devices—and they will continue to lose. Smarter options don't have to be expensive; just look at your cheap IR TV remote or ultrasonic receiver-emitter pair. These devices simply work. They use an uncomplicated code to make sure there is no interference from all the other ambient sources that are invariably present. A couple of secure ultrasonic bits superimposed on your basic 40 khz carrier waves is all that is really needed. It is likely that companies like Medtronic are working on solutions like this; for example, a Medtronic programming head of some sort can be had on Ebay at the moment for a mere $34.99.

In the larger scheme of things, having a handy iPhone, iWatch, fitbit, or even JUUL vape pen in your pocket to turn off inappropriate pulses or change stimulation modes is not such a bad thing, considering the alternative. Note that all these devices have accidentally toggled pacemakers. For example, if you have say, a standard issue Medtronic c Implantable Cardioverter Pacemaker or Resynchronization Defibrillator, they don't give you a tiny pen. Instead, you lug around their giant 3" diameter,5/8" thick donut magnet that gives a field of 90 Gauss at 1.5."

Perhaps now is a good time to look a little closer into what different implantable pacemaker/defibrillators actually do, and why inappropriately triggering them—or not triggering them, as the case may be—is undesirable. Inappropriate triggering is nothing unusual; it is, in fact, the central preoccupation for these devices. In other words, choosing when to force a contraction, or rhythm, and when to let the heart try to take some responsibility. There are different ways to implant, record from, and stimulate an ailing heart. You can do it externally to the heart chambers, inside the atrium, the ventricle, or both depending on the condition or pathology.

For example, with permanent chronic atrial fibrillation you might get by with a single atrial lead, while with intermittent or paroxysmal fibrillation, you likely want dual atrial and ventricular leads. In pacemaker vernacular, common control modes have names like AOO (asynchronous atrial pacing), VOO (asynchronous ventricular pacing), or DOO (asynchronous A+V pacing). More advanced modes, like DDD mode, have additional logical if-then control, something like the following: "dual-chamber anti bradycardia pacing; if atria fails to fire, it is paced. If the ventricle fails to fire after an atrial event (sensed or paced) the ventricle will be paced."

For the case of the accidental activation by a smartwatch, researchers replicated the misbehavior using a Medtronic Visia AF MRI S DF-1 single chamber ICD defibrillator. In the case of the accidental activation by a JUUL case, a man with a prolonged H-V interval had a dual-chamber Medtronic Evera MRI XT DR DDMB1D1. The reporting authors noted that although in this case, he was fine after reverting to magnet mode and halting emergency stimulation, there is clear potential for unintentional temporary programming and arrhythmic complications with these devices as they stand now.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Medical Xpress, John Hewitt, 08 Jan 2021

Stories of Hope: a teen's foggy brain, rash, itch, fatigue, nausea
USA Created: 9 Jan 2021
"I threw up most days; I felt like the life was being sucked out of me; It was like my body was exploding".

Starting in grade 8, Solveig's life became a nightmare.

"I was the most itchy you've ever been times 100. I would have to dig my nails into my skin to distract myself in class. By noon I had to call my mom in tears to pick me up from school."

Hear her EHS story by watching the video at the source link:
Click here to view the source article.
Source:, 14 Dec 2020

Breakthrough in case law on radiation risks
Holland Created: 29 Dec 2020
Administrative judge acknowledges increased health risks to wireless technology well below exposure limits.

Message from Wilma de Jong:

Lovely people,

With great gratitude I address you the day before Christmas with great news! The administrative judge declared my appeal well-founded [1] . On the basis of my notice of appeal [2] and the hearing of October 20, 2020 [3] , the court classified me as an interested party and ruled that increased health risks, when installing an antenna mast approximately 650 meters from my home, cannot be excluded.

This means we can speak of a huge breakthrough since more than two decades ago citizens started asking the courts for attention for the health risks of antenna installations. In other words, the administrative judge has given us citizens back our voice in the radiation debate. A "Christmas present" that I didn't want to keep from you the day before Christmas.

What does this ruling of the administrative judge mean?
If the law that speaks of this verdict is victorious, this verdict will have a huge impact. This statement means in any case that:

Municipalities must consider the health interests of citizens who are sensitive to radiation in their local antenna policy.
"The health interests of local residents who are sensitive to radiation must also be included in the weighing of interests to be made by the respondent."

(ECLI ruling: NL: RBGEL: 2020: 6702 [4] , claim 8, with reference (in consideration 4.2.) To the decision on my appeal: ECLI: NL: RBGEL: 2020: 6699 [1] , consideration 4.4.)

The (false) safety claim for exposure limits ICNIRP has been removed.
“In the opinion of the court, considering all arguments, with reference to scientific literature, it cannot be ruled out that even at a field strength lower than 1 V / m, and therefore also in the plaintiff's case, there will be increased health risks. ”

(ECLI verdict: NL: RBGEL: 2020: 6699 [1] , consideration 4.4.) As you may know, the ICNIRP exposure limits run up to 61 V / m (volts per meter).

From which it follows that:

The national determination of the ICNIRP limits in the intended 'Amendment to Frequency Decree 2013 to protect public health against radio frequency fields' [5] is contrary to this ruling.
Even if a fictitious safety margin of a factor of 50 is used, the ICNIRP limits are well above 1 V / m, while the administrative judge has ruled (see 2.) that increased health risks at a field strength below 1 V / m are not excluded. .

In addition, if the ICNIRP limits are set nationally, the municipalities are denied the opportunity to weigh up and promote the health interests of citizens locally (which is also contrary to the decision of the administrative judge, see 1.). After all, if this amendment decision is adopted, municipalities may not deviate locally from the ICNIRP limits by applying lower exposure limits [6] , even if the health interests of citizens demand this.

Recommendations Health Council inadequate

Already during the session on 20 October 2020, the administrative judge, on the basis of the recent report of the EMV Committee of the Health Council [7], came to the conclusion that the Health Council 'simply does not know' [8] [9] .

According to the Scientific Council for Government Policy, ignorance indicates 'uncertain risk problems' that require precaution [10] . We also find this point of view repeatedly in EU case law on the precautionary principle. [11] Although the Health Council suggests that it recommends precaution with regard to EMF, this is not actually the case.

In the first place, the recommendation of the Health Council to continue to take the ICNIRP exposure limits as a starting point, in view of the scientific and social controversy surrounding these limits, is contrary to precaution. [12] Second, the recommendation to apply the ALARA principle (ALARA is abbreviated from 'As Low As Reasonably Achievable') is meaningless, given the extreme height of the field strengths allowed under the ICNIRP limits. As early as 2003, RIVM reported the controversy surrounding this principle, because ALARA can be translated into 'As Large As Regulators Allow'. [13] The energetic way in which 5G is currently being rolled out nationally as if there were no risks whatsoever is illustrative of not taking protective measures by the government.

Local and national antenna policy must be overhauled
I cannot yet foresee how the verdict will affect at national level. But I do see, as law and truth winning over power politics and technocracy, that antenna policy must be overhauled both locally and nationally. Violations of integrity, such as the Health Council's conflict of interest with the ICNIRP and the obfuscation (defactualization) of scientific evidence [14] , must be brought to light.

Moral responsibility

I would like to express the wish - also a nice Christmas thought - that the governments and other involved (medical) institutions take not only their legal, but also their moral responsibility as a result of this decision and recognize that there are limits to ignoring or fighting the rights of citizens.

Regardless, I feel great gratitude that my research over the past 4 years and the appeal I was able to write has paid off. I would like to thank everyone who supported me in this.

On Monday December 28 I will be sending a press release to the media. In addition, I will also offer this information, in modified form, in response to the internet consultation (draft regulation) 'Amendment to Frequency Decree 2013 to protect public health against radiofrequency electromagnetic fields', so that the government can adjust its decision making accordingly.

I wish you a Merry Christmas. May the light (of consciousness) dissipate the darkness (of ignorance). I would like to continue to make my contribution.

Wilma de Jong

Footnotes :

[1] ECLI verdict: NL: RBGEL: 2020: 6699. .

[2] . For 'Further explanation and substantiation: .

[3] .

[4] ECLI verdict: NL: RBGEL: 2020: 6702. .

[5] .
See also: .

[6] 'In Article 1.4. However, the Environmental Act stipulates that the Environmental Act will withdraw if a specific act provides for an exhaustive regulation in the field of the physical living environment. Such an exhaustive regulation is intended with this amendment decision. This means that local authorities such as provinces, municipalities and water boards will not be able to impose deviating or additional regulations with regard to electromagnetic fields under the Environmental Act. ' Article 5.2., Draft scheme. Consultation version 'Decision to amend the Frequency Decree 2013 in connection with the establishment of national rules for the protection of public health against the electromagnetic fields resulting from the use of frequency space'. (See also article 5.1. Draft scheme.) .

[7] .


[9] See also: .

[10] Scientific Council for Government Policy (2008). Uncertain security. Responsibilities around physical safety. Pages 119–120.

[11] Commission Notice on the Precautionary Principle, Section 6.3.1. Proportionality. .

[12] The Scientific Council for Government Policy writes in its report 'Uncertain security. Responsibility for physical safety '(page 121):
' Ambiguous risks arise where scientific or social controversies about risks arise. ' Precaution is necessary for ambiguous risks, according to the WRR. Since the ICNIRP limits are controversial, this precaution cannot be based on these limits at the same time.

[13] RIVM (2003). Dealing with risks soberly. Environment and Nature Plan (MNP). RIVM report 2510701047/2003, page 35.

[14] See my appeal: . For 'Further explanation and substantiation: .
Source: Wilma de Jong, via email, 24 Dec 2020

Plane-Crash Risk Seen Rising on FCC Expansion of 5G Spectrum
USA Created: 29 Dec 2020
A plan to redeploy spectrum for super-fast 5G wireless networks is sparking concern among aviation safety experts that it could result in interference with the electronics on aircraft, potentially leading to crashes.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to begin an auction on Tuesday for airwaves in the so-called C-band frequencies that are used by satellite providers but the agency wants to re-assign for 5G. The agency says the sale is an important step in maintaining U.S. leadership in the next generation of wireless service.

But some fear that assigning the frequencies to ground transmitters near airports that will be used for 5G networks could interfere with electronics used by aircraft as they land.

“I see a very significant safety issue here unless we find a way to mitigate it,” said Terry McVenes, president of RTCA Inc., a Washington-based nonprofit that studies technical issues involving aviation.

The FCC says there’s enough of a buffer between the spectrum used by 5G and the altimeters aboard aircraft for them to safely co-exist. “We continue to have no reason to believe that 5G operations in the C-band will cause harmful interference,” said FCC spokesman Will Wiquist.

But the RTCA, formerly known as the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics, produced a 217-page study laying out potential hazards, including the potential for planes to crash near airports such as Chicago’s O’Hare International.

“It takes a lot to wind me up,” said McVenes, a former safety chief for the Air Line Pilots Association. “If left to go the way it is, our data shows very serious problems.”

McVenes didn’t recommend what steps should be taken to mitigate the problem, and said a solution might emerge from more talks with the communications industry. He said it would take years to design and replace altimeters.

Airlines for America, a trade group for large U.S. carriers, said it “appreciates the RTCA’s findings.”

“We encourage the FCC to reassess and better understand the interference risks associated with their proposal and make sure safety-critical aviation systems will continue to be protected,” the trade group said in a statement.

A coalition of 15 aviation-industry groups representing airline pilots, private business-jet operators and cargo carriers sent a letter to the FCC on Monday, saying they’d been raising concerns since 2017 and asking the agency to suspend the auction.

Moving ahead “would be a disservice to the safety of the traveling public and put our nation’s airlines, business and general aviation, and helicopter operations at risk,” the group said in the letter.

Representative Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, echoed those sentiments in a letter to the FCC on Monday, calling the RTCA findings “alarming.”

“There is no question that additional study is needed to understand the full extent and severity of 5G interference with radio altimeters and whether any mitigations are feasible—or even possible—to ensure flight safety,” the Oregon Democrat wrote.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration says it is concerned about potential interference with altimeters “and is working closely with our interagency partners at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Federal Communications Commission on this important issue.”

Aviation regulators in France have gone further and have slowed the deployment of 5G around airports while they study the matter.
The Waves Around Us

The portion of the electromagnetic spectrum known as the C-Band offers the best mix of coverage and capacity to carry 5G wireless communications, which promise data speeds 100 times faster than those of recent years.

The dispute comes as the FCC prepares for an auction that’s something of a capstone for Chairman Ajit Pai. The Republican, who is leaving office in January, has made it a priority over his four years as chairman to reassign frequencies from long-established communications to mobile uses.

Under Pai’s guidance satellite providers such as Intelsat SA and SES SA agreed to give up the C-band frequencies and operate in a smaller swath. In return they are to receive a portion of the billions of dollars expected to be bid for them by mobile providers such as Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc.

The sale would dedicate a large chunk of airwaves considered particularly suitable to 5G operations, ones that travel far and can carry rich information streams. That makes them useful for the lightning-fast “internet of things” coming to factories, offices, homes, farms, roadways and airports.

‘Important Milestone’

The auction is an “important milestone,” Meredith Attwell Baker, president of the CTIA trade group representing carriers, said in an Aug. 6 blog post. “Promoting American leadership in 5G is a national priority, and keeping the C-Band auction on schedule is critical to making sure we have the mid-band spectrum we need to lead the emerging 5G economy.”

The FCC considers the auction, which begins Tuesday and could last for weeks, to be “a very important event for American consumers and U.S. leadership in 5G,” Wiquist, the agency spokesman, said. “The FCC is paving the way for Americans to receive fast 5G wireless services.”

The airwaves to be reassigned, however, are near in frequency to those used by radar altimeters -- devices that calculate an aircraft’s height above the ground. According to the RTCA study, 5G signals from base stations on the ground would confound the altimeters during crucial phases of landing, when commercial aircraft are descending at 600 to 800 feet each minute.

“It just creates these totally inaccurate signals,” McVenes said. “It would do it any time the airplane went into the area where the 5G signal was happening. It would happen pretty much every time.”

For its report, RTCA plotted the landing approach to Chicago O’Hare’s Runway 27L, the most-used for arrivals. The group analyzed the effect on altimeters if existing telecommunications base stations below the incoming aircraft were converted to the new 5G signals.
Catastrophic Effects

It found “significant impacts throughout the approach with the potential for catastrophic effects.”

The result could be altimeter failures, including one like the fault that doomed a Turkish Airlines that crashed and killed nine people near Amsterdam in 2009, according to the report. In that crash the altimeter erroneously concluded the Boeing Co. 737-800 had reached ground level and the plane’s equipment automatically reduced engine thrust. Pilots didn’t notice and the jet plunged into a field.

The issue also raises safety concerns with helicopters, which operate at low altitudes where the radar altimeters are critical. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has cited issues with the altimeters in several copter crashes.

The FCC and CTIA have asserted that interference isn’t likely because there is plenty of buffer between the envisioned 5G uses and the airwaves assigned to the altimeters.

The RTCA’s study was “severely lacking” and reached “unsupported” conclusions, CTIA, with members including AT&T and Verizon, said in a filing.

“The test criteria that aviation created is more exacting than existing altimeter standards, and some tested altimeters, operating to manufacturer specifications, would not pass even without any external C-Band operations present,” CTIA said in a Nov. 17 filing.
Study Disputed

In a statement, CTIA said the FCC had concluded there’s no issue with “well-designed” aeronautical equipment. “Nothing in RTCA’s report changes that determination,” CTIA said.

The FCC concurred.

The U.S. plan for the airwaves offers more separation between altimeters and 5G than is the case in some other countries, Wiquist said. He cited CTIA’s concerns with the RTCA study and said, “the commission’s experts have concerns with this study as well.”

French regulators are on a different tack. The country’s aviation authority, DGAC, has told operators to slow mobile 5G deployment while it reviews its impact on aerial navigation. The delay has affected the start of 5G deployments around Nice airport and Paris-Charles de Gaulle, north of the capital. The DGAC consulted the RTCA report for its study, which continues.

The FCC in its February order establishing the auction called for a working group that included telecommunications and aviation experts to examine the altimeter issue. Meetings began in May, but the group ceased operating in November after its members failed to reach consensus and decided more talks wouldn’t serve a useful purpose.

The FCC in the February order said it expects the aviation industry “take appropriate action, if necessary, to ensure protection” of electronic devices.

Mitigation might include new altimeter designs and changes to 5G base stations, Lee Nguyen, an FAA official, said in a comment appended to the RTCA report. Nguyen was among three dozen aviation-industry representatives who joined the committee that issued the report.

McVenes said it would take years to design and replace altimeters.

“I’m not against 5G. I want 5G out there so my cell phone has more capability,” McVenes said. “We just wanted to make sure they did it safely.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Bloomberg, Todd Shields, Alan Levin and Helene Fouquet, 07 Dec 2020

The military is scrambling to understand the aviation crash risk from a new 5G sale
USA Created: 24 Dec 2020
As part of a broader move to boost the 5G industry in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 8 began auctioning a portion of C-band electromagnetic spectrum, a move the committee’s chairman, Ajit Pai, celebrated as “a big day for American consumers and U.S. leadership in 5G.”

But, in the weeks leading up to the auction, more than a dozen commercial aviation groups warned the sale could, as one study put it, lead to “catastrophic failures” with the potential for “multiple fatalities.”

At the core of the concerns are radar altimeters, a critical piece of aviation technology used by military, commercial and civil aircraft of all types — including helicopters and unmanned aerial systems — to measure the distance between an aircraft and the ground.

The aviation groups worry that 5G operations on the spectrum sold by the FCC could cause interference that would provide inaccurate readings on altimeters or cause their failure outright, in essence leaving pilots unaware of how far they are from the ground and potentially leading to crashes over the United States.

According to a memo obtained by Defense News, those concerns are shared by the head of the Federal Aviation Administration and the number two at the Department of Transportation, who are calling on the FCC to pause the sale so the safety issue can be studied more closely. The FCC, in turn, has said its own technical studies show little to no risk involved and it intends to continue moving forward.

Now, with the auction underway, the Defense Department is scrambling to catch up. The Pentagon has yet to determine the effect on military aircraft and has not established a formal position on the sale, with officials rushing behind the scenes to set up meetings and understand the potential long-term impacts.

A Pentagon official, in response to questions from Defense News, would only say the department’s policy board on federal aviation and aviation cyber initiative task force — an interagency organization led by the FAA — are reviewing reports by industry groups about the risk of 5G interference.

Senior leaders from the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security, and the aviation cyber initiative plan to meet Dec. 21 “to discuss findings and to establish an interagency way ahead to validate and respond to these reports,” the official stated.

Among those expected to attend are Brig. Gen. Robert Barrie Jr., the official who manages Army aviation assets; Brig. Gen. Eric DeLange, director of the Air Force cyberspace operations and warfighter communications office; and several cyber experts from the FAA and DHS.

Perhaps most notably, Honeywell Industries, a key producer of radar altimeters, has also been invited to discuss possible alternatives to current systems — a sign that the defense industry is taking the issue seriously. Honeywell declined to comment.

If the spectrum sale continues, some experts are warning a best case scenario may be that the department has to spend millions of dollars and thousands of man hours to design, procure and install new radar altimeters across the military’s fleet of airborne systems.

The worst case?

As one senior government official with experience in aviation said, “There will be accidents, property’s going to be destroyed and people are going to die.”

The ongoing dispute

Under the Trump administration, the FCC has focused on the sale of spectrum in order to goose the nascent 5G industry, which administration officials see as a driver for American economic growth. Branded as the 5G FAST Plan, the commission has moved quickly to sell C-band spectrum.

This particular auction involves spectrum in the 3.7–3.98 GHz frequency, with the hope of selling more than 5,000 new flexible-use overlay licenses. Satellite operators using the C-Band have agreed to repack their operations out of the band’s lower 300 megahertz (3.7-4.0 GHz) into the upper 200 megahertz (4.0-4.2 GHz), in two stages. They expect to complete the move in December 2023. As of Dec. 17, more than 50 bidders had reportedly put forth over $15 billion in offers for the spectrum rights.

Currently, the 3.7–3.98 GHz frequency portion of the C-Band is relatively quiet, occupied predominantly by low-powered satellites. For decades, this made the neighboring 4.2-4.4 GHz frequency a perfect place for the operation of radar altimeters, which are also called radio altimeters.

But that frequency may not stay quiet for long. Once 5G telecommunications are introduced in the 3.7-3.98 portion of the band, there is a “major risk” that those systems will create “harmful interference” to radar altimeters, according to an October study from the RTCA, a trade organization that works with the FAA to develop safety standards.

“The results of the study performed clearly indicate that this risk is widespread and has the potential for broad impacts to aviation operations in the United States, including the possibility of catastrophic failures leading to multiple fatalities, in the absence of appropriate mitigations,” the RTCA stated in its report. Research for the report was conducted by the Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute, a cooperative research organization based out of Texas A&M University.

Radio altimeters are critical during landings, once an aircraft moves below 2,500 feet from the ground. At that point, no other instruments provide an accurate measurement of a plane’s distance from the ground.

“It’s so important to have an accurate reading, because if it’s a bad reading it could lead to the airplane doing something you don’t want it to do.” explained Terry McVenes, the RTCA president and chief executive. McVenes is a former Boeing safety executive with 30 years’ experience in the commercial aviation industry.

“If your airplane thought it was 1,000 feet above the ground but was only 50 feet above the ground, well… you could have a problem,” he said.

The trade group filed the report with the FCC in early October, and shortly afterward met with an FCC engineering team. But since then, “We’ve heard nothing back from the FCC, had no other direct interactions with them” outside the official filling process, he said.

The release of the study triggered a last-minute request by 12 trade groups, including the Aerospace Industries Association, which represents military aviation companies, to consider mitigation efforts based on the report. The groups called the findings “the most comprehensive analysis and assessment to date on this subject, based on the best assumptions, parameters, and data… It has been peer reviewed for accuracy and validity and should not be dismissed by the Commission.”

The report has also gained the attention of Steven Bradbury, the acting deputy secretary for transportation, and Steve Dickson, the FAA administrator, who in a Dec. 1 letter obtained by Defense News warned that the spectrum sale could specifically damage both the Terrain Awareness Warning System, a major safety function for aircraft, and Autoland features relied on for pilots when landing a plane.

“Given the scope of the safety risk, and based upon our current knowledge, it is unclear what measures will be necessary to ensure safe operations in the [National Aerospace System], or how long it will take to implement such measures,” the two leaders wrote. “Depending upon the results of further analysis, it may be appropriate to place restrictions on certain types of operations, which would reduce access to core airports in the U.S. and, thus, reduce the capacity and efficiency” of commercial aviation.

That letter, sent to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, was requested to be added to the FCC’s public docket. However, the letter has not been posted to the FCC’s public docket as of press time.

The FCC and supporters of expanding 5G argue that the concerns are overblown.

“In the C-Band Order, the Commission concluded that our rules would protect radio altimeters used by aircraft, and we continue to have no reason to believe that 5G operations in the C-Band will cause harmful interference to radio altimeters,” Will Wiquist, a spokesman for the FCC, said in a statement. “Among other things, these altimeters operate with more than 200 megahertz of separation from the C-band spectrum to be auctioned, more protection than is afforded in some other countries.

“Moreover, the RTCA report was prepared outside of the joint aviation/wireless industry group that was set up at the Commission’s request and is not a consensus position of that group. Indeed, at least one other member of that multi-stakeholder group has expressed significant concerns with the study and several of its assumptions, and the Commission’s experts have concerns with this study as well.”

The member group that expressed concerns about the study is the wireless trade association CTIA, which in December filled with the FCC a document that called the findings “lacking and unreliable” and “unsound and unsupported.” Among the specific concerns raised by CTIA were that altimeter requirements used in the report were overly stringent, that it did not break down results by altimeter brand and model, and that the report relied on “unrealistic” scenarios during testing.

McVenes said RTCA is open to conducting the research again if presented with new data to work with, but has yet to see that information from CTIA or the FCC.

Risks to military aviation

Although the RTCA study looked exclusively at civil and commercial aircraft, almost all military aircraft are equipped with radar altimeters that are very similar to their commercial counterparts, said the senior government official. Defense News granted anonymity for this official to speak candidly about the risks to pilot safety.

While radar altimeters made for military aircraft are sometimes built to slightly more stringent requirements — having the ability to function in extremely cold or hot environments, for instance, or to withstand higher gravitational forces — they still reside on the same portion of the spectrum as commercial ones and are vulnerable to the same interference, the senior government official said.

The cargo planes and aerial refueling tankers operated by the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command would be most hindered by the interference produced by 5G due to their similarities to commercial aircraft, said Mike Holmes, a retired Air Force four-star general and former head of Air Combat Command. Holmes reviewed the RTCA report at Defense News’ request.

Many of the Air Force’s mobility assets are either based on commercial passenger jets, such as the Boeing 767-derived KC-46 tanker, or are equipped with commercial off-the-shelf avionics. As such, certain mobility aircraft are approved to conduct landings in bad weather conditions when the pilot has to rely on the aircraft’s instruments — such as the radar altimeter — instead of visual cues.

“You wouldn’t be able to fly that approach if your radar altimeter was being interfered with and you couldn’t get a good signal,” Holmes said. “For the military…you’d probably divert someplace else.”

For tactical aircraft, the bigger concern would be low-level flights over terrain such as mountains. Fighter pilots use their radar altimeters when flying close to the ground to evade enemy radar or surface-to-air threats. However, Holmes noted that not all fighter jets — such as the 1970s era F-15C — have radar altimeters, and that pilots would still be able to rely on visual cues.

Still, he said, if a radar altimeter is offering faulty information due to interference, that could lull pilots into a false sense of security about how far they are from the ground.

“Part of [the problem] is going to be trying to know whether you’re getting interference or not,” he said.

The senior government official noted that the special operations community could be particularly hurt by 5G interference. Certain aircrews of platforms, such as the C-130 or C-17, receive specific training to fly special operations low level missions, which involve flying close to the ground and inserting or extracting special operators, and those training missions may become more difficult to execute if 5G interference is a problem.

This training “is often executed under the cover of darkness. Depth and obstacle perception can be hindered in darkness due to the human eye’s cell structure,” the official said. “Night vision goggles provide compensation but still limit the pilot’s situational awareness.”

If the sales go through, the military will likely have to modify or replace its altimeters to meet whatever new safety standards the FAA eventually approves to mitigate the risks of 5G interference, Holmes said.

“If you go ahead and give up this part of the spectrum, the interference will drive changes that have to be made either to modify the equipment that is being used for 5G, to modify the equipment that are on airplanes, or to modify the procedures that determine how you use that equipment,” Holmes said.

Replacing or modifying altimeters will take time and funding — two commodities defense experts predict will be in short supply over the coming years — as defense budgets flatten.

In the near term, Holmes projects the services will change their training practices to eliminate any added risk to pilots caused by altimeter interference, such as restricting pilots of certain aircraft from landing in bad weather or ensuring that pilots of fighter aircraft take off with enough fuel so that they can divert to another airport if their radar altimeter no longer works.

In short, the military will have to give up money, time and effectiveness to fix the problem.

“The outcome would be lack of efficiency. You wouldn’t fly [certain] approaches in bad weather. So there would be times you couldn’t go do what you were [planning on] doing, whether that’s moving passengers or cargo in the civilian world or whether that was passengers or cargo in the military,” Holmes said.

“But ultimately, I would think the impact is going to be greater on the commercial airline world than it was on the military world.”

A billion dollar problem

While the satellite operators who currently operate within 3.7-3.98 GHz will receive some proceeds of the sale, allowing them to move to another portion of the spectrum, no funding is set to be given to the civil, commercial and government entities that rely on radar altimeters for safe aerospace operations.

As a result, it is likely that the U.S. military will have to replace “many or most” of the radar altimeters currently onboard its airplanes, helicopters and drones, the senior government official said. And because radar altimeters have all been developed to operate on the same portion of the spectrum, there is no off-the-shelf replacement already on the market for which interference wouldn’t be a concern.

On the commercial side, McVenes said if industry has to replace altimeters across its fleet, a price tag of “several billion dollars is probably on the low estimate.” That price tag could well jump for the military side, given the complexity of work on military systems - it is easier to swap out a part on a commercial plane than a stealth-coated fighter - and the infamous prices of defense procurement.

Meanwhile, the Defense Department could need to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the engineering work necessary to develop new altimeters, procuring those systems, testing and recertifying each platform for normal operations, and finally, installing the new hardware on potentially hundreds or thousands of aircraft across the military’s inventory.

“It will take many years, if not decades,” the senior government official said.

In the two months since the report was released, industry has jockeyed to get more time to study the issue and to put measures in place to mitigate the risks.

In a Nov. 17 letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the Aerospace Industries Association and 13 other aerospace trade groups implored members of Congress to take action to protect the frequency bands used by radar altimeters.

“We are concerned that without this congressional intervention to understand potential implications and ramifications, decisions will be made with a frightening lack of understanding of aviation requirements,” the groups stated.

Help from Congress seemingly came Dec. 7, when Rep. Peter DeFazio, the Oregon Democrat who leads the House committee, sent a letter to FCC Chairman Pai calling for the commission to postpone the sale.

“These RTCA findings are alarming; they not only align with earlier research identifying harmful effects of 5G networks to radio altimeters, but they reflect a clear need for the FCC to return to the drawing board with this premature plan,” he wrote. “There is no question that additional study is needed to understand the full extent and severity of 5G interference with radio altimeters and whether any mitigations are feasible — or even possible — to ensure flight safety.

“We must never take a chance with aviation safety — and at no point should commercial interests be placed above it.”

A day later, the FCC pressed forward with the auction.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Defense News, Valerie Insinna and Aaron Mehta, 21 Dec 2020

Here's Why Verizon's Nationwide 5G Is Actually Slower Than 4G For Most Customers
USA Created: 23 Dec 2020
We reported last month that Verizon's nationwide 5G network isn't all it's cracked up to be. While it’s true that Verizon's mmWave 5G network (which it dubs UWB 5G) is among the fastest around offering speeds that can approach 1Gbps in some instances, it has limited range, has trouble penetrating buildings, and is available in relatively few locations. The company's nationwide 5G network -- which uses low- and mid-band spectrum -- is what most customers will be accessing daily, and it leaves much to be desired.

New testing from PC Magazine confirms the previous assessment of Verizon's nationwide 5G network, and its test results shows that customers should probably go ahead and turn off 5G on their phones when possible. Wait, what? Why exactly would customers want to turn off what has supposedly been the biggest reason to upgrade for most customers during the past year?

According to PC Magazine, Verizon's existing 4G LTE network is typically faster than its nationwide 5G network. It all boils down to Verizon's use of Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), which allows the carrier to reuse certain 4G channels for 5G connectivity. However, as you might expect, this results in lower performance than what you'd see with a dedicated 5G channel. In reality, DSS means that customers on 5G are actually just getting the leftover table scraps, which can result in performance that is actually slower than 4G LTE.

The publication performed testing using iPhones and Android devices, and found that on average, Android devices operating on Verizon's nationwide 5G network performed about 33 percent worse than when using 4G LTE. This performance difference was highly repeatable, even when standing in the exact same spot while flipping back and forth between 5G and 4G LTE. It was much the same with iPhones, as 5G performance generally lagged well behind 4G LTE, with the lone exception being when the tester stumbled across a site that had Verizon UWB 5G coverage. In that case, the iPhone operating on 4G LTE recorded download speeds of around 400Mbps, while when switched to UWB 5G hit 750Mbps.

Our own testing has shown similar results, with 5G generally resulting in worse performance. Using an iPhone 12 mini with 4G LTE enabled, I typically see download speeds in excess of 200Mbps at home (see images above). Flip over to 5G, and that performance drops to just 135Mbps. These tests were performed on Spectrum Mobile, which is one of Verizon's MVNOs.

At this point, it's suggested that if you have a 5G-capable phone and you're on Verizon's network (or one of its MVNOs), that you simply turn off 5G. The performance benefits now just aren't there for customers, and in most cases, you're going to see a downgrade in network performance. Couple that with the increased battery drain that can come with enabling 5G on your device, there's really no reason to put up with these drawbacks.

That's probably not what customers that bought into the 5G hype want to hear, but things probably won't get any better for Verizon until is started gobbling up more mid-band spectrum (as T-Mobile has done in recent years) to improve its nationwide 5G coverage and performance.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Hot Hardware, Brandon Hill, 23 Dec 2020

5G Could Worsen Climate Change, Claims French Government Advisor
France Created: 23 Dec 2020
The widespread installation of fifth generation cellular broadband networks (5G) will likely increase greenhouse gas emissions over the next ten years, according to France’s High Council on Climate.

The report by the independent government advisory body, commissioned by the French Senate, found that 5G deployment in France would result in between 2.7 and 6.7 million tons of CO2-equivalent in 2030. That’s a significant increase compared to the tech sector’s current total environmental impact - about 15 million tons of CO2-equivalent.

The main impact comes from the manufacturing of the many component parts of 5G infrastructure and the new devices that will be produced to use it. Those devices use raw materials which must be mined, causing more emissions.

So far, much of the opposition to the rollout of 5G towers has been on health grounds, with critics citing unsubstantiated claims that the signals are hurting humans. Some internet conspiracy theories have even said 5G causes the COVID19 pandemic, again without offering any evidence.

5G has become such a controversial topic in France that in September a group of far-left and Green MPs in the French parliament asked for a moratorium on its deployment. The Senate report is an effort to shore up that objection.

In response, French President Emmanuel Macron has doubled down on his commitment to rolling out 5G, saying its critics were subscribing to an “Amish model” of living. “We're going to explain, to debate, to put an end to all the false ideas but yes, France will make the 5G shift," he said at a tech event in Paris in September.

Critics say the High Council on Climate’s report casts a wide net to encompass emissions that might happen whether or not 5G is rolled out. For example, it counts the emissions caused by manufacturing new 5G-compatible smartphones and the construction of telecoms infrastructure and data centers. It also factors in an expected increase in electricity consumption, assuming an increase in internet use as a result of the faster speeds.

The report sets out recommendations for how to limit the climate impact of 5G deployment. For instance, the EU should set stricter energy-consumption requirements for electronic devices and for the infrastructure providing internet, it says.

Governments have been caught off guard by the ferocity of objections to 5G, since there was no such widespread resistance to 4G. But unlike the previous generational changes of wireless signals, the latest improvement doesn’t allow a specific new technology but rather just an increase in speed. 1G allowed calls, 2G allowed text messaging, 3G allowed limited internet features, and 4G allowed streaming.

5G will allow for almost instantaneous data downloads that would take hours with current networks. There are concerns that being able to download an entire movie to a phone in a matter of seconds will drive an increase in internet usage what would be detrimental to both society and the environment.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Forbes, Dave Keating, 21 Dec 2020

No 5G network in Serbia for now, PM says people don't need it
Serbia Created: 22 Dec 2020
Plans to introduce a super-fast 5G mobile network in Serbia have been cancelled, at least for 2021, because, according to what Prime Minister Ana Brnabic has said on Monday, people do not need it.

The Government and mobile operators agreed that the 4G network in all parts of the country should be further developed first.

"It is vital that the citizens of Serbia currently do not need a 5G network. The scientific community, those who use supercomputers for artificial intelligence, eventually need 5G. But we, as ordinary citizens, do not need a 5G network," the Prime Minister said.

The move seems to be related to the Washington agreement signed in September by which Serbia has committed itself not to buy 5G equipment from unreliable suppliers, which is believed to be a US' attempt to block China's Huawei, the company that has gone the furthest in developing 5G technology, and which Belgrade has said would be its strategic technological partner.

Brnabic's claim that people do not need 5G network contradicts earlier state officials', including the Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications, statements about 5G as crucial for Serbia's economy, and therefore for citizens.

A journalist with 'Netokracija' website Marko Crnjanski said that in the future, foreign investors would choose the countries in which there was access to 5G internet.

"Its application is not only for users who stream and the like, but it will be used in industries. For example, surgeries can be performed thanks to the 5G network. Someone can be an assistant in the operating room via the 5G network," he said.

Telecommunications experts tell N1 the real reason for the change of plans is simple - "there is no money for now".

Petar Djukic, a professor at the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, said the reasons for postponing the auction for the 5G network were not political, but economic.

"There is no money, but not only at the moment. There is no chance that that money will appear soon," he said.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: N1, Petar Gajić, 21 Dec 2020

Why The Race To 5G Is A Mirage
USA Created: 19 Dec 2020
You may have heard that we are locked in a technology battle with China over commercializing 5G. That conflict turns out to be more hype than happening, designed to whet American appetites for competition and pave the way for more subsidies to the global multi-trillion dollar telecom industry.


Former national finance minister, Lou Jiwei warned last month that existing 5G technology in China is immature and quite expensive.

The next stimulus package should contain billions of dollars to produce, distribute, install, build out, maintain and monitor municipal fiber-optic broadband cable around the nation.

Until and unless a much safer, more cost-effective and less-energy intensive system can be produced, we should revise plans for continued expansion of the 5G albatross.

Former national finance minister, Lou Jiwei warned last month that existing 5G technology in China is immature and quite expensive. Increased electricity costs to fuel 5G in 2019, he recently warned look to be 10 times the profit of China Telecom -- one of three state telecom companies of China.

Not missing a beat or a chance for tapping heavy government subsidies, a China Telecom official, speaking at a Groupe Speciale Mobile Association seminar in Beijing last month, called for the government to directly underwrite telecom electricity costs. He minced no words voicing his fear that without this support 5G could prove a colossal failure.

"The existing 5G technology is very immature. Hundreds of billions of investment have been deployed, and the operating cost is extremely high. No application scenarios can be found, and it is difficult to digest the cost in the future," Jiwei warned last month in a speech that has been independently confirmed.

The Chinese Academy of Information and Communications Technology, concluded a white paper on the topic of 5G and the economy, “It is difficult for ordinary consumers and industry users to see the long-term benefits and rewards of 5G.”

"Based on a recent survey of Chinese consumers, 73.3% of the people polled said they believe that there is no need for the public to buy 5G mobile phones. The study released last month by iiMedia, a market research group, also found that the main reason for not buying 5G mobile phones is because there is no such need," the report read.

Important warnings came from Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, who bluntly added that the benefits of 5G have been exaggerated and are not needed at this time.

"In fact, human societies do not have an urgent need for 5G,” said Huawei CEO, Ren Zhengfei in November. “What people need now is broadband, and the main content of 5G is not broadband.”

What exactly does that mean?

Broadband relies on wired cables that provide faster, safer and more secure access. Much of it can be installed through or added onto existing infrastructure. Whether teens or the rest of us, it has always been tricky to distinguish between wants and needs. Those cool foldable phones may turn dad into a wide-angled photographic genius, but they provide no increase in connectivity between people, nor are signals less likely to be dropped.

Yes, 5G devices reduce the time needed to download movies to your wristwatch or another device. Yes, you can use your phone to turn on your coffee pot or clothes dryer or even handle three teens using devices at once.

But, all that comes with a price the full toll of which remains unknown, but is not unknowable, as two recent reports make clear.

Thus, the latest Government Accountability Office(GAO) Report notes that limited information on 5G is quite troubling, including the projected tripling or more of energy and permanent compromise of the night sky because more 5G satellites could be launched than there are visible stars.

Further, the 2020 New Hampshire State Commission, concludes that the absence of evidence on environmental impacts of 5G on plants, insects and wildlife from new 5G antennas should not be confused with proof of safety.

Other warnings come that 5G could drastically damage navigation for airplanes and ships, as well as set back weather prediction decades.

Goaded by demands that the commitment to expand wired access to the internet be honored, New York City has secured wired broadband to and through the premises for more than half a million previously underserved residents that now have wired access that provide among the fastest speeds in the nation of more than 1 gig a second.

The next stimulus package should contain billions of dollars to produce, distribute, install, build out, maintain and monitor municipal fiber-optic broadband cable around the nation. Given the undeniable importance of internet access to our society, it is critical that we provide universal access to a reliable backbone that speeds up transmission universally without compromising security, public safety or endangering the climate. Any gains in antenna efficiency will be swamped by massive growth in demand.

Until and unless a much safer, more cost-effective and less-energy intensive system can be produced, we should revise plans for continued expansion of the 5G albatross. Whatever our real differences with China, and they are not likely to be trivial, it is time for a reset on the rush to 5G.

Dr. Devra Davis, founder of Environmental Health Trust served as a Clinton Appointee from 1994-1999 and was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change team awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
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Source: International Business Times, Dr. Devra Davis, 13 Dec 2020

PRESS RELEASE: Global Campaign Reveals Why Smart Phone Users Have Become “Test Dummies” For Telco Industry.
USA Created: 18 Dec 2020
MOBILE PHONE USERS are being urged to boycott the next generation of 5G phones and join a global movement calling on urgent changes to existing safety standards because “the test is rigged”.

The creatively-charged We Are Not SAM campaign has this week been launched by Northern Rivers for Safe Technology, a high-profile community group based in Byron Bay, Australia. Thanks to intense lobbying by the group, the Byron Shire has so far remained 5G free, one of the few municipalities in Australia to do so.

We Are Not SAM campaign creator Rinat Strahlhofer, an ex-telecommunications insider who’s now intent on exposing the truth about the industry, said people would be shocked to discover the truth about their smart phones.

“Telcos have been getting away with certifying mobile devices as safe for years because the test is rigged,” Ms Strahlhofer said. “In the same way truth and public health suffered at the hands of the tobacco and asbestos industries, 5G phones are being pushed on the market despite a lack of independent, long-term studies to show they are safe.”
She said it was not widely known that the global telecommunications industry conducts safety tests about the heating effects of mobile phone wireless radiation on a plastic dummy called SAM, also known as a Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin.
During the test, which has not changed since the mid-nineties, the SAM plastic head is filled with liquid to see if it heats up one degree Celsius within a 6-minute call. SAM is based on a 100kg, six-foot tall adult male military recruit with a five-kilogram head.
If the liquid heats under one-degree within that time, the phone is deemed “safe” and ready for sale.
“The problem is that only 3% of the population fit the profile of SAM. Most people, such as women, children and the elderly, have smaller and thinner skulls than SAM, which means they will absorb substantially more radiation,” Ms Strahlhofer said.
“Essentially, we’ve become the test dummies for the multi trillion dollar telco industry with so much to gain from pushing out 5G phones on an unsuspecting market. Its safety standards are an absolute joke – which is devastating for our health and planet.”
She said many mobile phone users were already exposing themselves to multiple health risks from existing wireless 3G and 4G devices.

Over 2000 peer reviewed research papers demonstrate harm to human health from wireless radiation. Effects include: short-term memory and concentration, sleep disruption, headache and dizziness, fatigue, immune disruption, skin rashes, changes in cardiac function, issues with fertility and cancer.

The We Are Not SAM campaign is calling on mobile phone users to demand better safety tests and “help expose the dummy in the room” by boycotting 5G phones and signing a PETITION
We Are Not SAM has already gained the support of leading independent electromagnetic radiation scientists and doctors globally, along with high-profile activists. These include Robert F Kennedy Jr (founder and chairman of the Children’s Health Defense), Dr Devra Davis (President of the Environmental Health Trust), Dr Olle Johansson (a global authority on EMF radiation) and many more.
“Technology can either be used to bring value to our lives, or as a destructive force. We urge people to start questioning the way they’re using their wireless devices, and what kind of agenda the telco industry is driving,” said Ms Strahlhofer.
“Our greatest hope is for technology to be safe for current and future generations. This means authorities regulating to minimise harmful health effects and individuals taking responsibility to end their addiction to screens.
“We believe it’s crucial for humanity to rediscover their connection with nature and with each other, in real life and real time.”

More information, to keep up to date with the campaign or to join the movement.


Facebook: WeAreNotSAM
Sign the petition:
Check out the scientific research:
Click here to view the source article.
Source: EHTrust, 04 Dec 2020

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