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5G Heats Up Base Stations
USA Created: 4 Jul 2020
Before 5G can be deployed commercially on a large scale, engineers have to solve some stubborn problems—including how to make a hot technology a whole lot cooler.

5G-capable modem chipsets are already on the market from Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, MediaTek, Intel and Apple, with some 5G service (LTE-Advanced/LTE-Advanced Pro) available in the U.S. But still mostly missing from the 5G equation are base stations powerful enough to shape and direct an individual RF connection to every subscriber within range, while performing feats of electromagnetic geometry to maintain that connection.

A base station in the wireless world is a device that connects other wireless devices to a central hub. It is a wireless receiver and short-range transceiver that consists of an antenna and analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) to convert the RF signals into digital and back again. The 5G base station will have beamforming massive multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antennas—an array of antennas that can focus and steer multiple beams simultaneously to different targets on the ground, such as a cell phone, using the millimeter wave spectrum. Sometimes that means bouncing the signal off an object to reach near the target rather than broadcasting a signal broadly over an area.

Although Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia and Huawei are producing 5G base station technology now, there are gaps in that technology. The base stations are still not powerful enough to track mobile customers and make sure each is connected every nanosecond.

What’s developed for base stations has to work seamlessly with handsets. They also have to be reliable enough to last for years, but the current technology is running too hot. And how that affects reliability and signal integrity isn’t clear because at that point now one is quite sure how the antenna arrays will be tested because there are no exposed leads. Those antennas are essential to form, steer and receive beams, both in the base station and in handsets and other mobile devices, including connected cars, health monitoring devices and even industrial equipment.

“If you embed the antenna into the package, when the package heats up or cools down, that changes how the antennas work,” said Keith Schaub, vice president of business development for Advantest’s U.S. Applied Research & Technology unit. “That affects beam forming, beam steering, and it creates a power loss. It also affects the fabrication process, which needs to be tightly controlled.”

Schaub noted that base stations and handsets are all designed to standards, but the implementation of those standards can vary greatly. For example, when two major chip companies developed their first 5G chips, they adhered to the standards but the chips wouldn’t work with each other due to minor inconsistencies in the drivers.

Two-phase commitment
Despite the moniker, 5G is more of a statement of direction than a single technology. The sub-6GHz version, which is what is being rolled out today, is more like 4.5G. Signal attenuation is modest, and these devices behave much like cell phones today. But when millimeter wave technology begins rolling out—current projections are 2021 or 2022—everything changes significantly. This slice of the spectrum is so sensitive that it can be blocked by clothing, skin, windows, and sometimes even fog.

The result is that many more cells are needed to keep devices connected, and base-stations and handsets will be constantly searching for ways to stay connected. As anyone with a cell phone knows, searching for signals drains the battery faster. But it also keeps the logic circuits active, and that generates heat. In base stations, which are tightly packed with racks of equipment, thermal buildup can cause all sorts of problems. It can have an impact on signal integrity, and it can reduce the lifespan of all components.

“When you have a frequency with a range that’s not as far as a cell tower, you have to add much more density to the network to get the same amount of connectivity,” Michael Foegelle, director of technology development at ETS-Lindgren. “When you design these, you have to assume they’ll be outside, and you have to design in a way to dissipate all that. Since you’re outside and don’t want to risk putting in active cooling, you might have to go fix a lot, that means a lot of ambient cooling,”

Another source of heat stems from the analog circuitry used to generate RF signals. Power amplifiers and converters are needed to get the analog signal onto digital networks. But using silicon for those conversions isn’t efficient, so heat builds up. And while beamforming theoretically can save power, because you’re not broadcasting in every direction, that technology adds its own issues.

“First, you need enough hardware to do the number of digital-to-analog conversions you have to do, and the cost is still prohibitive,” Foegelle said. “But it’s also power-hungry. One of the side effects of the arrays is that the circuits used for them aren’t terrifically efficient. They get hot, and you have to be able to dissipate a lot of heat because of the amount of equipment and conversions and the efficiency issues.”

It’s not entirely clear if this technology will be replaced with digital technology. It’s also not clear how digital technology would impact effects such as heat, particularly if designs are pushed to the most advanced process geometries.

“The 5G standard allows for both,” said David Hall, chief marketer at National Instruments. “Analog circuits are less efficient, which creates more heat in the base station. With a digital beam, there is a change in the waveform itself, particularly with multiple access. So you have to adjust the phase to the wave carriers.”

Hall noted that heat exacerbates non-linear effects. “If you add heat, distortion is not as repeatable.”

That makes it more difficult to identify any heat-related issues. One solution may involve the testing itself. “Historically, we have been using box instruments,” said Heath Noxon, market development manager at NI. “Now you have to hit this more quickly and process test much faster.”

Different materials can help, as well, but they add to the cost. “You can get efficiencies using GaN or GaAS that are probably 60% or 70% compared to silicon, which is more like 20% to 30% efficient, but those are much more /expensive, ” Foegelle says.

That issue could be sorted out if there is enough volume for either gallium nitride (GaN) or gallium arsenide (GaAs) so that economies of scale begin to kick in. Both of those materials are well understood and there is plenty of expertise in working with them. “Engineers have spent 20 years optimizing the efficiency of gallium arsenide power amplifiers,” said NI’s Hall.

“The problem may not be as big as it sounds, though,” Foegelle says. “With millimeter wave the bandwidth is high enough you don’t have to spend much time communicating. It moves quickly, which could minimize heat buildup as well as reduce the amount of energy you broadcast. But we won’t know that until we’re able to see more work on base stations.”

The volume problem
Heat is just one of the many issues cropping up in the 5G world. This is an entirely different wireless technology, particularly when it comes to millimeter wave. The amount of pressure put on technology and service providers trying to move into—and often create—the 5G industry is very high, and few tools are available to test and validate any individual approach early enough in the process to be useful, according to Frank Schirrmeister, senior group director for product management at Cadence.

This is particularly important for dealing with heat, which can impact the lifespan of components. Thermal effects can speed up electromigration, impact performance, and create noise that can impact quality. But engineers are just starting to work with these technologies, and it’s not clear what else might crop up.

“If engineers are used to working at lower frequencies on these earlier cellular applications, and then they transition to working on 5G at higher frequencies, all of sudden all the rules are more stringent, all the rules of thumb go out the door, and you have to do a more thorough design,” said Mike Leffel, an application engineer at Rohde & Schwarz. “It is a more challenging design. Components don’t work as well at the higher frequencies as they used to in lower frequencies, so you really have to retrain yourself on how to make a well-functioning product. Everything gets smaller. Wavelengths get smaller. The ability to adjust the phase of a path is more difficult because now the wavelength is so small so a small change in a wavelength might be 10 degrees instead of 1 degree at lower frequencies.”

Rhode & Schwarz recently started one-day educational conferences to help engineers understand the issues. But for Leffel, preparing engineers for the 5G universe is “one of the biggest challenges for the customers that we have. They have to rethink how things work at higher frequencies. What I see is somebody saying ‘I used to do this at 6GHz, I didn’t even have to calibrate the cable. I would just hook it on and it was good enough. Now when I’m at 40GHz, when I do that, it fails. Everything fails and I have to do this calibration. And when I calibrate, it still doesn’t work right. And the guy came in from Rohde & Schwarz and said you have to use a torque wrench to do this. I never had to use a torque wrench before.’ Yes, but you never worked at 40GHz before. Now everything is touchy. And this is a more expensive, better quality cable at 40GHz. You can’t use that cheap cable anymore. You have to calibrate maybe every day instead of once a week. You have to worry about the length of that line and the insertion loss, so there’s an extra trace on this board, so you can measure how much loss is in that line and then subtract it from the results so that when you measure a path on here, you can correct for that trace. At low frequency you don’t have to do that. At high frequency, that trace is critical to know exactly. So all of these things you didn’t have to do before are suddenly important, and if nobody told you this, then how would you know?”

Millimeter wave technology isn’t new, and a lot of the networking issues in millimeter wave have been addressed before in satellite communications or radar. However, the cost difference between one satellite and a few hundred thousand WLAN-scale access points changes the cost/benefit equations enough that there’s not much direct comparison, said Cadence’s Schirrmeister.

There also are ongoing updates to the 5G standard. “With millimeter wave we’re talking about wavelengths of about a centimeter, so the antennas are also very small and you use two for each subscriber—one upstream, one down,” Foegelle said. “But for base stations we only have a few vendors marketing them. There’s still another version of the standard coming out later this year, so there’s some uncertainty there. And we are getting carriers coming in and trying to figure out what the propagation characteristics on their networks are going to look like and what types of problems they can expect to see in the field, but the prices are still pretty high for distribution of a product that you’re going to have to put out in density more like a WiFi access point than a cell tower.”

It is best to keep things simple with a technology like 5G, which is fantastically complicated to build and test even before the standards or first rounds of implementation are finished and proven, noted Susheel Tadikonda, vice president of engineering at Synopsys’ Verification Group. “The PHY layer is getting very complex. You need high bandwidth, and the latency requirement means you have to do a lot of the processing in the PHY layer itself. We used to have the luxury to send it up the chain and have it done with an algorithm. What you’re doing is moving logic form one portion to another. You still have to convert an analog radio wave. Doing it digitally may be more effective, but in 5G you have not 12 or 14 modems, but hundreds of antennas doing beamforming. It is much more complicated than 4G was, and the transition is more complicated than the transition to 4G was.”

Hybrid designs
There are good reasons to stick with hybrid approaches, however. All, or nearly all, RF base stations that operate below 6GHz use digital beamforming because it is more power- and heat efficient than analog. At frequencies higher than 6GHz the filters required for conversions take up too much space for digital to be practical, according to a 2018 presentation at MIT by Gabriel M. Rebeiz, a University of California San Diego engineering professor and an expert in high-frequency communications and phased array design.

Hybrid designs that use analog signals for RF and digital for networking are among the most common topologies used in satellite communication radar and other 5G-similar applications of the last two or three decades, communication methods, according to Redeiz, who specializes in millimeter wave and primarily on those issues before the growth in demand for terrestrial demand for high-frequency bandwidth.

Hybrid models are also less computationally complex than digital, though the arrays are larger, which makes digital beamforming much more attractive as the size of the devices and antennas shrink, according to an analysis published by Mostafa Hefnawi, a researcher at the Royal Military College of Canada in Ontario.

People are talking about a lot of ways to mix and match frequencies and protocols and devices in other ways that would deliver a lot of value from 5G, especially for people who don’t necessarily need microsecond latency and 10,000 Gbit/sec wireless network connections, says Gilles Lamant, distinguished engineer at Cadence.

“People are talking about putting RF over fiber, but to cross analog RF at high speed to digital might cause major heat problems. Still, those would be a lot less with a slower wireless interface, or even a smaller geographic area covered by 5G that allowed all that RF data to go straight onto the network digital domains,” Lamant says. “The key here is energy efficiency, so you send the RF across the fiber without converting it first and you can save money and time. You can convert it later or transport that signal straight to another RF domain. It is a little science-fiction-like to think about, and you would have to put more energy in the connection after a certain amount of distance, but if the tradeoff is in cost and energy. It is something to think about rather than sending data out over a heavy, slow coaxial cable.”

Conclusion
Relying too much on the idea of people using smartphones means ignoring a lot of other applications. Analytics providers or IoT network owners could find connecting to 5G access points as attractive a business proposition as a company needing instant high-speed access for mobile video, but companies doing two-way high-definition streaming use the physical network behind the 5G access point is much different than an IoT network sending big chunks of data in batches to the cloud.

“If all you care about is how fast you can post Instagram pictures, that’s a different set of concerns than if you have 100,000 devices spread out across a square kilometer than you want to connect,” Schirrmeister says.

At this point there are many unknowns. Heat is just one more issue, although it is an important one. But how that gets resolved may depend on a lot of other factors, from how much of the base station is digitized to the density of cells and base stations and the millimeter wave frequencies. At this point there is plenty of momentum for 5G, but there are a lot of variables in play that could have a big effect on how this wireless technology is rolled out, how well it works, and how long it lasts.

—Ed Sperling and Susan Rambo contributed to this report.
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Source: Semiconductor Engineering, Kevin Fogarty, 07 May 2019

SpaceX Opens Starlink Internet Beta Test To The Public
USA Created: 24 Jun 2020
SpaceX has opened the registration for the beta testing of its space-based Internet service via the company’s Starlink satellites. The company is most likely rolling out the service’s beta test in preparation for a possible commercial launch soon.

Those looking to try out SpaceX’s Internet service may register through Starlink’s website. Upon opening the page, users will be prompted to enter their email address, zip code and country to complete the registration process.

Users who are able to successfully register will then receive an email message from SpaceX, which discusses brief details about the beta testing phases. As noted by the company, registered users will be notified as soon as beta testing is available in their region.

“Starlink is designed to deliver high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable,” the company stated. “Private beta testing is expected to begin later this summer, followed by public beta testing, starting with higher latitudes.”

“If you provided us with your zip code, you will be notified via email if beta testing opportunities become available in your area,” SpaceX added. “In the meantime, we will continue to share with you updates about general service availability and upcoming Starlink launches.”

Although the company did not mention where Starlink’s beta testing will be available first, SpaceX founder Elon Musk revealed in a tweet in May that the initial testing phase for Starlink will only be available in areas at higher latitudes, such as Seattle. Musk noted that it might also be available in London.

Eventually, as more Starlink satellites enter low-Earth orbit, the service will be available to different parts of the world. In total, SpaceX plans to launch up to 42,000 Starlink satellites. Currently, the company has over 500 Starlink units orbiting Earth.

Through Starlink’s Internet service, SpaceX is promising to deliver speeds of up to one gigabit per second with a latency of about 30 milliseconds. Hype Beast noted that SpaceX is targeting to launch Starlink’s service commercially in North America later this year. It might reach the rest of the world sometime in 2021.
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Source: International Business Times, Inigo Monzon, 22 Jun 2020

Assemblyman Calls for Commission to Study 5G Safety
USA Created: 17 Jun 2020
TRENTON - Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-20thDist) is calling for the creation of a state commission to study the many unknown health effects of the next generation of wireless technologies, which are steadily expanding throughout New Jersey.

The wireless industry is engaged in the large scale deployment of 5G microwave antennas to dramatically enhance the nation’s broadband infrastructure. Such technology is welcomed, as it eliminates rural internet disparities, enables new forms of automation, and promotes advancements in telemedicine.

However, there are deep concerns about potential health effects within New Jersey communities, Assemblyman Holley said. 5G technology uses existing technology and new applications of microwave radiation to transmit large amounts of data. It requires closer proximity to network users, resulting in dense deployment of antennas near schools, residences, and businesses throughout New Jersey.

“My constituents have expressed some deep concerns about the potential health impacts of these antennas, especially in high-density communities like Elizabeth and Union Township,” Assemblyman Holley said. “We need to analyze the involuntary exposure of citizens to 5G technology, especially without their express knowledge or consent of the potential health impacts.”

Assemblyman Holley noted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has not yet conducted long-term testing of 5G technology, and has not updated its wireless radiation human exposure guidelines since 1996.

“Wireless industry leaders have admitted that safety tests have not yet been conducted to determine any possible adverse health effects from the constant exposure to higher frequency wireless radiation,” the assemblyman said. “Meanwhile, there’s a significant body of published, peer-reviewed, independent scientific studies that link exposure to wireless radiation with serious biological harm and increased risk of cancer, reproductive problems, and neurological impairments.”

Assemblyman Holley said the mounting research casts doubt on the theory that low-level exposure to radio-frequency microwave radiation is harmless. There are more than 250 medical and public health professionals who have signed a joint statement urging government officials to consider the latest science on microwave radiation and human health, especially the latest science concerning abnormal brain development in unborn children, Holley said.

“I am not taking a position on 5G until I have more information,” the assemblyman said. “My concern is the overall body of evidence concerning the potential health impacts of wireless radio wave radiation. It is inconclusive and lacking in high-quality research. We need further study and consideration to help shape appropriate regulatory policies that best protect New Jerseyans.”

Assemblyman Holley is calling for the “New Jersey Commission on 5G Health Effects,” which would study the environmental and health effects of 5G wireless technologies, with a focus on the potential health risks that these technologies pose to vulnerable populations.

The assemblyman suggests the commission comprise 11 members. That includes two members of the General Assembly, two members of the State Senate, one member of the cellphone and wireless technology industry, one member representing the business community, one member of the public with expertise in the biological effects of wireless radiation, the Attorney General (or his appointee), the Commissioner of Health (or her designee), one member of the State Medical Society, and one member representing Rutgers University who is knowledgeable about wireless radiation.
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Source: TapInto Newark, ADAM SAMUEL, 16 Jun 2020

5G won’t be a financial cash cow for wireless carriers, report says
USA Created: 15 Jun 2020
The spread of superfast 5G wireless networks will provide a boon to the economy, although the revenue generated by wireless carriers from the emerging technology could be modest, according to a new report.

Companies in manufacturing, health care, transportation, environmental monitoring, and gaming will get major financial benefits from 5G’s speedier connections, according to consulting firm KPMG. Increased spending on connectivity, hardware, software, and services could drive more than $140 billion of new annual revenue in those sectors worldwide by 2023.

But for telecommunications carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, which are spending tens of billions of dollars to build 5G networks, KPMG’s forecast was less generous. Only about 11% of spending from the introduction of 5G will go to connectivity. “It’s a sobering prospect for telcos,” the report notes. “The dire economic impact of becoming a ‘dumb-pipe’ is real and requires immediate action for those not already positioned to benefit.”

The carriers have already struggled to charge consumers more for 5G, with Verizon eliminating an extra charge for 5G last year and T-Mobile pledging not to charge for the faster service for at least three years as part of its deal to gain approval for merging with rival Sprint.

At the same time, the carriers have also tried to take advantage of 5G, which provides connections that are 10 to 100 times as fast as current 4G LTE, in new ways. With the help of its 2018 acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T will be able to offer video streaming and other entertainment over its 5G network. Meanwhile, Verizon runs a large digital media unit which is designing programming specially for 5G. Verizon is also partnering with Amazon to create small cloud computing data centers to host 5G apps and services. And T-Mobile plans to offer wireless home Internet service nationwide via its 5G network.

Among the five business sectors analyzed in the report, manufacturing will gain the most new revenue as a result of 5G, with robots and other autonomous machines helping factories become more efficient with higher-quality output and reduced maintenance costs. Gaming will also produce considerable additional revenue thanks to 5G, as both virtual reality and cloud-based gaming get a boost, the report noted.

The software industry will also be a big winner from 5G, as manufacturers buy apps that use A.I. to run automated factories, hospitals use programs to gather and analyze wireless sensor data, and video gamers opt for the latest titles to play via streaming, the report noted.

(Correction: This story was updated on June 10, 2020 to correct the percentage of spending on 5G connectivity after KPMG corrected the figure in its report.)
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Source: Fortune, Aaron Pressman, 10 Jun 2020

Jersey City Council postpones 5G utility pole installation
USA Created: 10 May 2020
The Jersey City Council has unanimously tabled an ordinance to approve the upgrade and installation of 72 utility poles which the council says will include 5G technology after members of the public spoke against the ordinance.

The critics cited a lack of transparency, lack of notice, and lack of information as well as data expressing concerns on the possible health ramifications the technology could have on residents despite the Federal Communications Commission’s ruling that the technology is safe.

Resident and registered nurse Lucille Shah said she was against 5G utility pole installation.

“My children’s bedroom faces the street, and they can potentially be sleeping just a few feet away from a 5G tower,” she said, noting that the World Health Organization has yet to issue an opinion on the possible health impacts of the technology.

She said that several European countries have halted their installation until more studies have been concluded.

Resident and former councilman Chris Gadsden said that residents have not been notified that the utility poles would be coming to their neighborhoods.

“I just want to caution and hold up on the installation of these towers because just like how we notify the community of CCTV camera installations, and different construction projects, and street paving, I just think we need to afford the public the same courtesy,” he said, saying that the new towers will primarily be installed in Ward A and Ward F, possibly near senior citizen homes and apartment complexes, without residents being made aware of it.

Resident Esther Wintner also pushed for the council to hold off on the ordinance because people were preoccupied with the current the public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nick Strasser of the city’s law department quoted federal law stating, “No state or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate placement construction and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent such facilities comply with the commissions regulations concerning such emissions.”

“Simply put, the FCC has reviewed this and deemed the equipment in this ordinance to be safe to the public, and Congress has given the FCC exclusive jurisdiction to determine what is safe and is not and has prevented states and municipalities from individually deciding what is safe and is not from an emissions standpoint on this equipment,” he said.

Several council members voiced their frustration over seemingly having their hands tied. Council President Joyce Watterman asked Strasser whether the council could send a resolution or letter to the federal government to express their concerns.

“It’s always within the Council’s jurisdiction resolution to send a resolution to Congressmen Albio Sires and Donald Payne, and the U.S. Senators from New Jersey, to notify them of your frustration with the state of the federal law, you always have that ability,” Strasser said.

He also explained that the city still has the ability to restrict certain aspects of the installation itself.

“What you can’t do is say it is on the basis of the emissions coming from the equipment, because the FCC has already reviewed that from a safety standpoint and said that it is safe,” said Strasser. “But what the city does have the ability to do is to regulate the fees as it does in here or the engineering review of the individual towers… the city also has the ability to decide where they go from a public safety standpoint” if they are to close to fire hydrant or driveway, for example.

He added that the council can also have a say when it comes to the design of the poles, especially in historic neighborhoods, because they would have to comply with the historic requirements of any historic preservation district.

According to Business Administrator Brian Platt, the vendor will have to notify residents who are within 200 feet of a utility pole instillation site before they are installed.

That notification will include information regarding the technology’s safety.

“Council people spent the last month trying figure out what to do with this, and its bad to think the FCC is in control of what we do here in Jersey City,” said Councilman Jermaine Robinson. “I want to put people first and make sure they know exactly what’s going on here in our city.”

Council President Joyce Watterman urged members of the public to petition and write letters to their state and federal leaders expressing their concerns.

Ultimately, the council decided to table the ordinance to further explore their options after Platt noted that the council has 150 days to make a decision on the ordinance.

The ordinance will return before the council on final reading on May 20th.
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Source: Hudson Reporter, Marilyn Baer, 08 May 2020

FCC blocked from dismissing lawsuits
USA Created: 29 Apr 2020
On April 1st, 2020, the FCC finally published its December 4, 2019 “RF Order” (FCC 19-126) in the Federal Register. The Federal Register notice addresses the FCC’s outrageous refusal to update its radiofrequency (RF) exposure limits or reconsider whether outer ears should be treated differently than other extremities since users often place cell phones on the ear (Docket 13-84), the final rule amendments making it easier to prove compliance with the outdated rules (Docket 03-137). The publication in the Federal Register follows Children’s Health Defense’s (CHD) motion in its case against the FCC, CHD v FCC, to force the FCC to publish its decision. As a result, the FCC will have no basis to seek dismissal of CHD’s or the Environmental Health Trust’s (EHT) case and will likely prevent the FCC from being able to control venue – where the cases will be heard. The FCC much prefers the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The Federal Register is part of the National Archives and Records Administration. It is the official “newspaper” of the federal government. Every decision, order, regulation or law must be published in the Register. The office annually compiles all current regulations into bound volumes of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Most federal agency actions are not effective or final for judicial review purposes until they are published in the Federal Register.

On December 4, 2019 the FCC closed Docket 13-84 and released FCC 19-126. There were 2 relevant actions: a “Resolution of Notice of Inquiry” in ET Docket No. 13-84 regarding “Reassessment of Federal Communications Commission Radiofrequency Exposure Limits.” The FCC decided there is no evidence of harm from wireless technology and therefore, no need to review the RF safety guidelines. Most appalling was the FCC’s refusal to reconsider the impact on children or take into account that many users still place their cell phones right on their ear, and thereby receive more radiation exposure than the rules contemplate. CHD’s case (Petition for Review) against the FCC, claim the decision is arbitrary, capricious, not evidence based and an abuse of discretion. The FCC also released a “Second Report and Order” and Memorandum Opinion and Order” in ET Docket No. 03-137. This part amended the existing exposure guidelines to allow industry to even more prodigiously inflict harm on an unsuspecting and vulnerable public.

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, an injured party can sue the FCC within 60 days of the “date of public notice,” which is usually understood to be the date of publication in the Federal Register. However, 60 days after the FCC released its decision, the decision was not published in the Federal Register. To prevent any FCC argument that the window for review petitions closed on the 60th day after the December 4, 2019 release Children’s Health Defense filed a case in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on February 2, 2020. The Environmental Health Trust filed a case as well, 2 days earlier, in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Under federal law, when cases are submitted in different courts against the same government agency’s decision, the cases are transferred to one court. The venue is typically determined by a multi-jurisdictional panel in what is referred to as the “lottery process.”

The FCC, however, devised a nefarious plan that would allow it to control timing and venue and even perhaps block judicial review. It purposefully delayed publication to prevent the lottery and push venue to the court it prefers – the DC Circuit – and potentially even obtain dismissal or a long delay until it finally got around to publishing notice. The FCC’s efforts to get the case out of the Ninth Circuit and before the DC Circuit strongly indicates FCC thinks it will do better there and would have a harder time defending the decision before the Ninth circuit.

On 2/12/2020 the FCC submitted a Motion to Transfer, asking the Ninth Circuit to transfer CHD’s case to the DC Circuit claiming that because EHT’s submitted the case two days before CHD, EHT has won a “race to the courthouse” and the cases should be heard in the DC Circuit Court. EHT submitted an Amicus Brief in support of the FCC motion to transfer our case to the DC circuit based on the same argument. CHD replied that the “race” never started because the “starting gun” (Federal Register publication) had never sounded, and, indeed, there was not supposed to be a race at all.

Scott McCollough, the attorney who leads CHD’s case together with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., saw through the FCC’s the FCC’s effort to game the rules, and quickly responded. CHD submitted a “Motion for Affirmative Relief and an Opposition to Motion to Transfer” on 2/18/20. CHD’s motion claimed the FCC was purposely withholding publication in the Federal Register. It further explained that under the courts’ procedural rules and statutes once Federal Register publication happens petitioners have a 10 day window to invoke the lottery process. This means that where the cases should be heard should not be based on a “race to the courthouse.” The Motion states:

“The Motion to Transfer is the FCC’s opening move in a game of “gotcha.” If the FCC prevails on its motion the Commission will promptly reverse course, abandon its apparent contention before this Court that the “Order” is presently reviewable, and tell the D.C. Circuit that since there has been no Federal Register publication both cases are “premature” and must be dismissed. If the D.C. Circuit agrees the FCC will succeed in completely immunizing the “Order” from any review whatsoever until the FCC gets around to publishing notice, if it ever does so.”

The FCC obviously realized its gambit would not work, so it finally stopped trying to delay and went forward with publication. CHD’s efforts won the day. We forced the FCC to publish in the Register; prevented the FCC from being able to dismiss the cases claiming they are premature; and ensured that the proper process to set venue is used: a Multi-Jurisdictional panel lottery process (rather than the FCC) should now decide which court will hear CHD’s & EHT’s cases. The 4/1/20 publication means the two review petitions will soon be able to move forward to consideration on the merits.
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Source: Childrens Health Defence, Dafna Tachover, 01 Apr 2020

The Lies Must Stop — Disband ICNIRP
USA Created: 11 Apr 2020
Facts Matter, Now More Than Ever.

We’re all frazzled and anxious. The world has changed, seemingly overnight, and we don’t know when and how we will ever go back to normal —whatever that means. One thing we don’t have to worry about is whether 5G radiation is responsible for COVID-19. It’s not. There’s no credible evidence to suggest otherwise.

Yet, there is at least one parallel between how we’ve been struggling with COVID-19 over the last few months and how we have been dealing with electromagnetic radiation for the last few decades in the U.S. and elsewhere: Science has taken a back seat to politics.

The public has been fed lies and half-truths about the health effects of RF/microwave radiation for as long as I have been involved, since the 1970s. The campaign has created a culture of confusion. In this environment, why would anyone be surprised that sensational conspiracy theories about 5G have found a footing?

The Microwave News website is full of articles describing how the public has been misled time and time again. In my latest article, I offer two current examples from those who are supposed to serve as the world’s experts, the members of the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, ICNIRP for short.

Read the full story here:
https://microwavenews.com/news-center/time-clean-house

Louis Slesin, PhD
Editor, Microwave News
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Source: Microwave News, Louis Slesin, 09 Apr 2020

Smartphones Irradiate the Thyroid: Is This a Cancer Risk?
USA Created: 17 Feb 2020
Thyroid cancer among women is skyrocketing all over the world - Incidence is growing faster than for any other cancer.

The reasons why remain elusive.

The prevailing view is that there’s been an “epidemic of diagnosis” —that is, overdiagnosis. But a consensus is growing that lifestyle or environmental risk factors are also at work. Obesity is currently the leading candidate.

Sweden's Michael Carlberg and Lennart Hardell think that smartphones may also be part of the problem. Smartphone antennas are at the bottom of the phone and when holding one up to the ear, the thyroid is directly exposed to RF/microwave radiation.

Newly released cancer statistics add urgency to resolving this question.

Read the full story, out today, in Microwave News.

Louis Slesin, PhD
Editor, Microwave News
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Source: Microwave News, Louis Slesin, 17 Feb 2020

City Council Responds to Community, Adjusts 5G Regulations
USA Created: 13 Feb 2020
Dozens of Californians packed the Costa Mesa City Council chamber Tuesday night with homemade signs. They hugged. They cried. They beseeched the council to beware of potential health risks of 5G technology — which they fear will likely make its way to Costa Mesa once the council had updated its policies on wireless communication facilities.

In October, the council approved a set of changes in design guidelines for wireless technology boxes, and on Tuesday considered more changes to city regulations.

After nearly five hours of discussion, about 30 speakers and an impromptu closed session, the council offered some concessions for the concerned community members.

But for some members of the Costa Mesa Advocacy Group, a grassroots organization that opposes expansive infrastructure for small cell facilities, the allowances weren’t enough.

“We’ve spent hours and hours with our expert attorney to improve this ordinance and make it actually make sense. Staff continues to ignore them and act as a gatekeeper preventing any real material change from happening,” Costa Mesa Advocacy Group leader Alison Burchette said in an email Wednesday morning. “Thus making it so that [the City Council] had to try to bake a dang cake at midnight with a heap of ingredients.”

Most notably, the council, on a 6-1 vote, changed a requirement in the ordinance to make it so that small wireless communication facilities — which typically take the form of small boxes on street poles — must be 750 feet from other communication facilities of the same company. Some community members had asked to increase the originally proposed 500-foot separation to at least 1,000 feet.

The small cells can be 250 feet from facilities of other companies, and even closer in non-residential zones.

The council also changed a requirement that the Planning Commission had added two weeks earlier. Under the new ordinance, residents who opt in may receive an email every time a wireless provider applies to install a new small cell box, or any time a provider asks to swap out 4G technology for 5G. Members of the public had called for all applications to be publicly noticed.

The council kept some other measures that community members lamented, such as that small cells installed near residential properties must maintain a 25-foot distance. That’s not far enough away for many residents, who complained that close proximity to the sites can be harmful for people with electromagnetic sensitivity.

5G is a fifth-generation wireless network that is intended to increase internet speeds and provide more-reliable connections. But many residents in Orange County and throughout the state have expressed concerns with the technology, which activists feel could endanger public health because of the use of higher-frequency radio waves.

Several health professionals joined the Costa Mesa Advocacy Group in warning council members of potentially harmful effects of radio waves.

“Years ago, smoking was the thing to do,” said Charlie Fagenholz, a holistic chiropractic physician. “Looking back, if you knew then what you knew now, would you vote for or against it? We’re in the same boat with [electromagnetic] toxicity.”

Some residents recounted personal stories of struggling with health issues that they attributed to high exposure to electromagnetic frequencies. Some expressed concern about the potential effects of radio frequencies on children. Others thought small cells are ugly and would ruin Costa Mesa’s aesthetics. At several points, Mayor Katrina Foley asked members of the crowd to quiet their applause.

Tim Brown, a government-affairs manager for Crown Castle, a communications infrastructure provider, said small cells are needed to provide bandwidth and capacity that are not possible with current infrastructure.

“The reason why these sites are developed is because people want them to work,” Brown said. “We have to respond to those demands. … The way we do that is by developing the infrastructure we have here.”

Other representatives of telecommunication companies such as AT&T and Verizon thanked the council for their review and reminded the audience that the Federal Communications Commission has not determined that radio frequency emissions from wireless devices adversely affect human health.

“The weight of scientific evidence has not effectively linked exposure to radio frequency energy from mobile devices with any known health problems,” an FCC statement reads, citing research from the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization.

Council members emphasized that they can only make incremental changes to the ordinance because their hands are tied by the federal government’s regulations.

Many guidelines for the infrastructure of wireless communication facilities are federally mandated, though cities have a little leeway in regulating their aesthetics. Federal law, for instance, prohibits local governments from regulating construction of wireless telecommunication facilities based on perceived health effects.

At the end of the night’s exchange about wireless communications that stretched past midnight, Councilman Allan Mansoor voted against the proposed changes.

“I like the direction that we’re going, but I believe it’s rushed,” Mansoor said. “After midnight, our votes aren’t always the best. … I think we can do better.”

His comment provoked a tense exchange with other council members who challenged him to suggest concrete ways to improve the ordinance.

“Staff has done a really good job of trying to get us through all the land mines and be able to try to balance all the interests of protecting the community and addressing the concerns that were made, as well as addressing the concerns of the telecommunications industry,” Foley said, “and then trying to do something in a space where we really don’t have a lot of jurisdiction given to us at all by the federal government.”

The council will take a second, final vote on the changes at a future meeting.
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Source: Governing.com, Faith E. Pinho 07 Feb 2020

Scientists Sue FCC for Dismissing Studies Linking Cell Phone Radiation to Cancer
USA Created: 7 Feb 2020
A Nobel Prize-winning scientist has filed a lawsuit alleging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) failed to update cellular phone and wireless radiofrequency (RF) radiation limits and cellular phone testing methods in over two decades. These failures, the plaintiffs contend, ignore “peer-reviewed scientific studies showing that radiation from cell phones and cell phone towers and transmitters is associated with severe health effects in humans, including cancer, DNA damage, damage to the reproductive organs, and brain damage (including memory problems).”

Law&Crime obtained an exclusive copy of the lawsuit from Nobel co-laureate Devra Davis, who currently serves as president of the Environmental Health Trust (EHT), the lead plaintiffs in the action.

”The FCC has for years failed to protect public health by relying on 24-year-old safety tests designed when phones were the size of a shoe and used by few,” Davis told Law&Crime via email. ”We filed this appeal in order to insist that the agency take full measure of the U.S. government and other scientific evidence that cellphone radiation can be harmful.”

Davis continued, noting the FCC’s hands-off approach to cell phone-related regulation over the last three presidential administrations.

”The agency has dismissed hundreds of scientific studies submitted to its inquiry on wireless radiation and the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and others, without providing any rationale for doing so,” she said.

The lawsuit specifically accuses the FCC of violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and is requesting an appeal of the agency’s prior order denying to revisit cellular phone standards. From the filing:

[The FCC] (1) has improperly terminated a Notice of Inquiry begun in 2013 to review, update, and amend its emission exposure limits for radiofrequency (RF) radiation emitted by telecommunications devices and facilities, including but not limited to cell phones and cell phone towers and transmitters; (2) has improperly revised the criteria for determining when a licensee is exempt from its RF exposure evaluation criteria and the methods that RF equipment operators can use to mitigate the risk of excess exposure to the public and to workers; and (3) has improperly denied a petition for reconsideration of the [FCC’s] finding, and otherwise improperly rejected public comments, that the pinnae (outer ears) should be treated like other extremities for purposes of determining compliance with the RF emission exposure limits.

“The [FCC’s prior] Order exceeds the [FCC’s] statutory authority and poses significant risks to the public health, safety, and security,” the filing continues.

The plaintiffs’ attorney Edward Myers slammed the FCC’s prior decision in comments to Law&Crime.

“The FCC’s order terminated an inquiry into the adequacy of existing health and safety standards for radiofrequency radiation from wireless devices and facilities, including cell phones and cell phone towers and transmitters,” he said. “The existing regulations were promulgated in 1996 based on scientific data from 1992 and the FCC had commenced the inquiry in 2013 after the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report finding that the existing standards may be based on outdated science and may need to be updated.”

Myers continued, clarifying the relief sought:

In challenging the FCC’s decision, the petitioners contend that the agency has unlawfully disregarded a large body of evidence in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, among others. This evidence includes numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies showing that radiation from cell phones and cell phone towers and transmitters is associated with severe health effects in humans, including cancer, DNA damage, damage to the reproductive organs, and brain damage (including memory problems). The petitioners are seeking to have the court remand the matter to the FCC so that it can complete the inquiry into its standards based on current science.

Davis went on to compare the lax regulatory environment to the state of affairs between U.S. administrative agencies and the powerhouse automobile industry until a consumer push—and concurrent litigation—led by Ralph Nader led to a series of meaningful reforms in the 1980s.

“Unlike France and Israel, many Americans are ignorant of the fact that phones are two-way microwave radios that are tested while held inches away from the body. Safety advice is also hidden within operating systems about keeping devices away from the abdomen of pregnant women or children,” Davis said. “Just like cars in the 1970s, we need the equivalent of airbags and seatbelts, that have saved millions of lives, to ensure hardware and software operate at the lowest feasible levels and protect billions of children and others using wireless radiating devices that comply with outmoded standards.”

“The FCC is ignoring the recommendation of our nation’s largest organization of children’s doctors—the American Academy of Pediatrics,” EHT Executive Director Theodora Scarato told Law&Crime—noting that the physician-led group “asked the FCC to test phones the way we use them—in positions against the body—and the FCC said it was unnecessary.”

Law&Crime reached out to the FCC for comment and will update this space if we receive one.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Law & Crime, Colin Kalmbacher, 04 Feb 2020

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