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Haringey Council blocks phone companies' 'disconcerting' plans for 5G mast on top of Alexandra Park School
United Kingdom Created: 3 Jul 2019
Plans to build a 5G mobile phone mast on top of a Muswell Hill secondary school have been thrown out amid concerns that parents had not been informed.

Ward councillors also claim they weren't told about the proposals for a 7.5-metre roof tower, six antennae and four large dishes.

All three Lib Dem councillors for Alexandra have now called on neighbours to get in touch with their views ahead of a potential appeal.

Network operators EE and Three had applied for planning permission through their joint subsidiary, MNBL, to replace the mast on top of Alexandra Park School in April. Haringey Council rejected the plans on aesthetic grounds on June 5.

Cllr Allessandra Rossetti said: "Councillors were contacted by concerned parents on the last day of the consultation period.

"I am aware that the application mentions pre-consultation with local councillors and their lack of objections, but before last Friday we hadn't received any communication from the applicant, either via email or post.

"Parents we have been in touch with told us they were not aware of the application either."

Cllrs Josh Dixon and Nick da Costa also told the Ham&High they had not received a letter and it is understood that MNBL's correspondence to nearby Rhodes Avenue Primary School was also not received.

In its submission, the company stated: "Mobile networks are ubiquitous throughout the UK. It is an expectation that an individual can connect whenever and wherever they so require.

"As this is an existing base station and the amendments are minor in nature, this is the most preferable site. As such no other options have been considered."

It included a certificate from the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation (ICNIRP), stating the plans met EU limits on public exposure to electromagnetic fields - which were agreed in 1999.

An attached piece of promotional material stated: "It is imperative the UK prepares itself to enable this new technology and lessen the burden of over-complex regulations."

5G - billed as the "next generation" of mobile coverage - operates at a much higher frequency than its predecessors, and is currently being trialled in cities across the UK.

In March the government wrote to the chief executives of all councils in England, advising that it wanted the UK to be a "world leader" in 5G and asking them to put policies and procedures in place to "minimise barriers to deployment".

Earlier this year the ICNIRP announced plans to relax the safety regulations on phone mast emissions ahead of the rollout of 5G, on the basis that doing so would not pose a risk to public health.

But other scientific studies have claimed that the effect of non-ionising radiation on the human body is still not fully known, and 5G trials have been blocked in Brussels, Rome and California.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: "They are rolling out something which is untested. This is weapons technology.

"This is a particularly pernicious one because it's on top of a school, and perfectly exemplifies how a blind eye is being turned. In the cold light of day, it's business."

Cllr Rossetti added: "This is new technology and the fact that it is being rolled out first on top of a school is disconcerting.

"We need new data and fresh research. I would have preferred to see these issues and parents' concerns being addressed in the document submitted, rather than seeing a copy of a successful appeal. I would also have preferred to see alternative sites being considered."

There are 323 known telecoms masts and antennae in Haringey and since January 2018 the council has received 126 applications for new installations.

As of 2016 the council no longer has a searchable "mast register" online but said it kept records on its planning database.

A spokesperson said: "We are unable to resist installations on health grounds. There is much case law on this matter.

"In the case of Alexandra Park School, we sent consultation letters to nearby properties, which formed a substantial radius around the site. We refused permission for the installation on grounds of its siting and appearance."

A similar application by Telefonica to upgrade a mast in nearby Durnsford Road was also refused on aesthetic grounds in May after 144 objections were received from neighbours.

The mast at APS dates from the early 2000s and according to public records was formerly being used by a different operator.

The school did not comment on how much it received in rent for the mast when approached by the Ham&High, and also did not confirm what it had done, if anything, to inform parents of the plans.

Headteacher Michael McKenzie said: "The phone mast dates from the early 2000s when the school was under local authority control.

"We have investigated different options for this mast but since the introduction of the Electronic Communication Code, it is extremely difficult to force the removal of an existing mast from a site.

"The proposed upgrade to 5G will go through a full planning application and I would encourage all concerned to engage with this process."

MBNL, Three and EE did not respond to a request for comment.
The planning documents can be viewed online under the reference HGY/2019/1102.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Ham & High, Hannah Somerville, 21 Jun 2019

Fears over mast radiation (in Hereford)
United Kingdom Created: 23 Jun 2019
COUNTY residents say a mobile phone mast near their home is disrupting their sleep.

Marden couple Steve and Gill Williams are so concerned they’ve hired specialists to measure the levels of high-frequency radiation coming from the transmitter which was built on the nearby recreation ground in 2017.

High-frequency electromagnetic fields are used in a variety of everyday technologies such as mobile phones, base stations, Wi-Fi, radio, TV, magnetic resonance imaging equipment and for heating like in microwave ovens.

But specialists detected readings of 3600 microvolts in the couple’s bedroom and the device maxed-out at 9000mv when used outside.They say a safe limit for a sleeping environment is 150.

“It’s very worrying,” Mr Williams said.

“Since the mast was built, I just can’t sleep. All of us are experiencing it but I’ve been affected the most.”

“The thing is ordinary people don’t know the effects of these masts and they are putting up them up everywhere.”

A Herefordshire Council spokesman said they have commissioned independent specialists to review the mast.

“The planning application to construct this mast went through the proper process, being granted approval in 2017 as it conformed to the nationally accepted safety requirements,” he said.

“Due to recent local concern, as a precautionary measure the council has asked for the matter to be reviewed by independent specialists and a response will be made available in due course.”

A spokesperson for Cornerstone, who are responsible for the mast, said Vodafone and O2 customers expect to be able to use their mobiles where they live, work and travel.

“Base stations are low powered devices which cover approximately half a mile in radius, therefore we have to put base stations close to our customers,” she said.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Hereford Times, Carmelo Garcia, 22 Jun 2019

Phone mast gets planning from DNPA despite massive protest
United Kingdom Created: 7 Jun 2019
The planners ignored over 184 objections to the mast at Newbridge Hill near Poundsgate, and a petition with 1,500 names against the plan.

The plans were submitted by the Home Office and the network carrier EE and will be part of the G5 Mobile internet. The application was highlighted by local naturalist Nick Baker who said at the time: “Bloody madness. What is the National Park for? It is supposed to be preserving the cultural landscape and wildlife interest.”

The Dartmoor Preservation Society called it a ‘slap in the face to thousands of local people and visitors to Dartmoor’ and Widecombe Parish Council opposed the plan claiming they had not been fully consulted.

The Rev Geoffery Fenton of the parish council said it had been very disappointed about the lack of consultation.

One objector Emily Burville from Ashburton said: “This will be an eyesore and will destroy the look, feel and character of this particular part of Dartmoor. It is not a subtle structure it will be very prominent.”
Click here to view the source article.
Source: The Moorlander, Stuart Clarke, 07 Jun 2019

Local Hero village of Pennan phone mast refused by councillors
United Kingdom Created: 28 May 2019
Plans for a controversial phone mast in the village made famous in the film Local Hero have been refused by councillors.

Pennan in Banffshire and its iconic red phone box featured in the 1983 film.

The application for an eight-metre tall mast was to provide improved phone coverage, including for emergency services, but critics said it would affect the village's charm.

Aberdeenshire councillors voted five to two to refuse the application.

The Bill Forsyth film, starring Burt Lancaster, saw representatives of a US petro-chemical giant, who were seeking to build a refinery in a coastal village, won over by the gentler rhythms of the local life.

Click here to view the source article.
Source: BBC News, 28 May 2019

Mother to pay up to £4K for independent phone mast safety tests
United Kingdom Created: 13 May 2019
A MOTHER who is concerned that the current advice about emissions from 4G phone masts is out of date is spending up to £4,000 of her own money on tests to get updated information.

Hannah Currier, a counsellor and health coach, says she is sensitive to the electromagnetic fields created by wireless networks and mobile devices and cannot hold her smart phone near her face because it feels like it is burning.

‘Scientists say there is no evidence it causes harm, but what they are actually saying is they don’t know,’ she said.

‘You could interpret that as it’s safe, or that they don’t know it’s safe. I’m choosing to interpret that as it’s not safe.’

A study carried out by consultants iWireless in 2017 on behalf of competition regulator the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities found that all 274 masts across the Channel Islands were well within internationally recognised health-and-safety limits.

A further audit was carried out last year on new and upgraded masts and more are planned by CICRA this year. A petition on the gov.je website demanding a full investigation into the safety of a 5G network in Jersey has attracted over 520 signatures.

Mrs Currier, who says her research will be independent and is not linked to those behind the petition, is paying between £3,000 and £4,000 for a UK specialist to come over and test ten masts.

She has put a post on the Jersey Ask! Advise! Advertise! Facebook group asking for suggestions for masts to test.

‘There are lots of very polarised arguments for and against,’ she said. ‘I would love to be wrong, but I don’t think I am. It’s a big cost – but I think it’s worth it.’

The project will also be filmed.

Mrs Currier uses a smartphone with a hands-free unit and blames the electromagnetic fields associated with mobile technology for the headaches and sleeping problems she has experienced. And she says her daughter gets nosebleeds when she is near phone masts.

‘I wanted to do the tests so that when 5G [the next-generation mobile technology] comes out, we can see if there is a difference.’

The World Health Organisation describes electromagnetic fields as ‘one of the most common and fastest-growing environmental influences, about which anxiety and speculation are spreading’.

Tim Ringsdore, director for telecoms at CICRA, said: ‘We will continue to carry out independent surveys and have another planned this year.

‘We welcome the fact that the operators work within the guidelines and we will work with them to ensure this continues.’

He added that a similar set of surveys would be carried out when 5G technology was rolled out.

Graham Hughes, chief executive of telecom company Sure in Jersey, said: ‘As with our current mobile network, Sure will always adhere to and operate within international health-and-safety limits, which are regulated and independently verified by CICRA.’
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Jersey Evening Post, 13 May 2019

WiFi may interact with signaling pathways in the brain, causing irreversible damage
United Kingdom Created: 23 Apr 2019
The effects of repeated WiFi exposure on human health have been widely debated. A recent study reviewed evidence from 23 controlled scientific studies which investigated the health effects of WiFi on animals, human cell lines, and humans to determine once and for all, whether WiFi has a detrimental effect on human health.

WiFi or a wireless network consists of an antenna that is connected to the internet and several wireless devices, such as laptop, phone, etc. The electromagnetic frequency of WiFi is pulsed rather than continuous. This is a critical issue, as pulsed electromagnetic frequencies have a larger biological impact.

A 2015 study argued that more pulsed an electromagnetic frequency, more harmful they are for biological specimens. Researchers have also tried to determine the dose relationship between WiFi exposure and biological effects, and found that a specific intensity range of electromagnetic pulses may produce maximum effects, and this may drop off at lower and higher intensities.

When the impact of pulsed electromagnetic frequency was observed in the brains of mice, it was found that exposure for 1–2 months was relatively modest and that the changes were reversible after removing the trigger. However, months of exposure led to severe irreversible effects on neurons and the brain. These results suggest that the changes induced by pulsed electromagnetic frequencies accumulate over time, with harmful long-term effects.
Should we stop children and pregnant women from using WiFi connected devices?

The pulsed electromagnetic frequencies may be particularly damaging in young children due to the small size of their skulls and reduced skull thickness. This may increase brain exposure to pulsed electromagnetic frequencies.

Pulsed electromagnetic frequencies have also been shown to be particularly potent in embryonic stem cells. As these cells occur at a higher frequency in fetus and children, it further puts them at risk, leading to effects on brain development. This effect is particularly striking considering that WiFi placements are a common fixture around schools these days.

WiFi may interact with signaling channels in the human brain

One of the first studies to elucidate how the pulsed electromagnetic frequencies could affect human health showed that low-intensity pulsed electromagnetic frequencies could be blocked using drugs that block voltage-gated calcium channels. Subsequent studies showed activation of calcium channels in response to pulsed electromagnetic frequencies in plants, animals, and human cells.

Apart from calcium channels, voltage-gated sodium, potassium, and chloride channels were also shown to be activated by pulsed electromagnetic frequencies. In humans, seven different voltage-gated ion channels are known to be activated by exposure to pulsed electromagnetic frequency.

This change was observed within five seconds in cells in culture, suggesting that this is a direct effect of pulsed electromagnetic frequency on the plasma membrane.

The different biological effects of pulsed electromagnetic frequency exposure include oxidative stress, lower female/male fertility, neurological effects, cell death, and damage, changes in steroid hormone levels, calcium overload.

Previous studies that have investigated this effect used computers with WiFi cards. Although WiFi cards have been designed to communicate with WiFi antennae, currently there is no information as to how these pulsed electromagnetic frequencies compare with the radiations of genuine WiFi.

Furthermore, many studies have claim there are no effects of pulsed electromagnetic frequencies as the observed effects were not scientifically significant. However, concluding that there is an absence of effects due to lack of statistical significance may not mean that there is no effect whatsoever.

The ubiquitous presence of WiFi in spaces occupied by humans, particularly in schools should be dealt with caution until the effects of pulsed electromagnetic frequencies on humans are established.
Source:

Martin L. Pall. 2018. Wi-Fi is an important threat to human health. Environmental Research. 164 pp.405-416.
doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.01.035
Click here to view the source article.
Source: News Medical, Dr. Surat P, Ph.D., 18 Apr 2019

Do smartphones cause cancer? World Health Organisation to assess brain tumour link
United Kingdom Created: 20 Mar 2019
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is reviewing whether smartphones might increase the risk of cancer, the Telegraph understands.

The UN health body is conducting a review of the latest scientific studies in an attempt to put to bed an ongoing row among scientists about the link between brain tumours and increased use of mobile phones.

Despite their widespread use researchers have for decades disagreed about the extent to which mobile phone signals constitute a health risk. The last report of its kind was released by WHO in 2011. It graded high radiofrequency, the energy emitted from wireless devices like phones, WiFi routers and phone masts, as a “possible carcinogen".

Since then, several new pieces of research have been published including a 10-year US study commissioned by the US Food and Drugs Administration, which showed clear evidence of cancer in male rats and some in female rats when exposed to the kinds of radiation emitted from 2G and 3G phones. It was thrown out by the FDA upon its release in November last year because the animals were exposed to the highest possible radiation a human might experience from their phone for prolonged amounts of time, something the organisation said was unlikely to happen in real life.

A deadline for the review has not been set but Dr Eric Van Rongen, chair of the organisation that is tasked with setting the limit at which phones can emit radiofrequency, ICNIRP and a member of the WHO, said that his peers were currently looking "at all the high quality papers ever published" with the review expected "next year".

Industry-wide guidelines limiting how much radiation phones can generate have been in place since 1999 following concerns about the emission of radiowaves from phones, which are absorbed by about 1-2cm into the body.

Evidence suggests that those using smartphones infrequently are unlikely to have a risk of cancer and experts point to the fact that brain tumours have not become epidemic despite the increased use of the technology. But Joachim Schüz, head of radiation at the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer said there were questions over “heavy users” who are on their phone for several hours a day with some studies suggesting an increased risk in brain tumours.

“We have some uncertainty with very heavy use of mobile phones, but that definition is not very easy to make,” Mr Schüz said. “On the one hand, people use their phone much more often nowadays because it is cheaper but they use it in different ways, like holding it in their hand rather than by their head or they leave it in their pocket.”

Phone makers including Samsung, Apple and Google warn users to hold the phone at least 5 or 10mm away from their head and body, and avoid using a metal case to ensure the radiation adheres to current guidelines. Those who use their phone for several hours a day could consider using headphones or a hands-free device, Mr Schüz said.

Official NHS advice says that those concerned should ensure children, deemed a higher risk factor because they absorb more energy, “should only use mobile phones for essential purposes and keep all calls short” and “only use your phone when your reception is strong”. Phones emit more radio waves in areas with poor reception because it uses more energy to try and find a connection. It says the biggest health risk of phones is using them while driving.

Other countries have been cautious with an Italian court forcing the government to fund a public awareness campaign over potential risks to health this summer. France has ruled that phone manufacturers must display the radio wave absorption rate (SAR) and test handsets to make sure they comply. Last year it found eight models on the market which did not. Berkeley, California, alerts customers that phones might pose a health risk owing to the radiation they emit.

Alarmed by a body of conflicting evidence over the past decade, scientists have called for further studies to be conducted into the potential impacts. The advent of fifth generation wireless, of 5G, has sparked further debate over the impacts it could have on the population because the networks will require higher frequencies and more phone masts.

Simon Mann, head of radiation dosimetry at Public Health England said: “It is possible that there may be a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves when 5G is added to an existing telecommunications network or in a new area; however, the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and as such there should be no consequences for public health.”

Dr Rongen of ICNIRP, the organisation which is tasked with setting the limit at which phones can emit radiofrequency that it would be “very difficult to predict” if there are any potential health hazards associated with the new network.

“It is not set up as a public health experiment but of course you can consider it as such. It will be necessary to gain more information about the exposure and any health problems that might come from an effect of that exposure,” however, he added, “this is not any different to monitoring prescription drugs that we rely on”.

ICNIRP plans to relax the emissions limits ahead of 5G, which will grant telecommunication companies more leeway when designing the phone masts needed to provide coverage across the UK, US and Europe.

Researchers have long disagreed over the effects of mobile signals In the late Nineties, studies by Sweden, Japan and other countries found higher risk of brain tumours in heavy users. However, scientists have not noticed increased rates of cancer in countries where smartphones have become ubiquitous.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Telegraph, Margi Murphy, 03 Mar 2019

ICNIRP will relax guidelines to accommodate 5G
United Kingdom Created: 12 Mar 2019
Safety restrictions on how much radiation phone masts are allowed to emit are to be relaxed next month, ahead of the introduction of 5G networks.

ICNIRP, the global scientific body used to set standards on radio frequency emissions from smartphones, WiFi routers and phone masts, will vote on easing its guidelines next month.

The Munich-headquartered organisation, made up of a dozen scientists, believe the existing rules can be relaxed without any health risks.

Telecoms companies have been hoping the restrictions will be relaxed to allow them to set up next-generation mobile networks, which will require more powerful signals.

The World Health Organisation is currently studying whether radiation from mobile networks is harmful, in an attempt to settle disagreements among researchers about the signals allegedly increasing the risk of cancer.

Fierce opposition to phone towers in residential areas across the country has persisted for almost two decades, owing to concerns the radiation they emit might be harmful to public health.

Campaigners have stepped up opposition ahead of the new networks as the successor to 4G will need more masts to provide the necessary coverage, each operating at a higher frequency. The current limits were created in 1999. The government rules that any manufacturer must ensure masts, or phones, comply.

Around 25,000 masts or cell sites are needed to cover mainland UK on the current network. But when data rates rise with 5G, they will need to push more power into the radio signal and larger coverage, New masts may appear on bus stops, lamp posts and in homeowners’ TV set top boxes.

Mobile phone companies promise the new networks will contribute billions to the economy owing to their super fast speeds that can accelerate smart cities, homes and driverless cars. Matthew Fell, the UK policy chief at the Confederation for British Industry last month urged politicians to help “supercharge broadband and 5G to stop UK economy from buffering”, and stop it being overshadowed by Brexit.

Vodafone announced last week that it is launching 5G in 19 towns and cities across the UK this year. The US has similar trials taking place across the country, backed by Donald Trump who wrote on Twitter that he wanted the technology “as soon as possible”.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Telegraph, Margi Murphy, 09 Mar 2019

Somerset parent pulls child out of school due to wi-fi radiation
United Kingdom Created: 5 Mar 2019
They claim their child has suffered from 41 nasty side-effects stemming from wi-fi waves.

A parent has taken their child out of a Somerset school because of dangerous wi-fi radiation there, they have claimed.

They say they have been forced into home-schooling after their child began to suffer from a long line of serious symptoms that they believe have stemmed from wi-fi radiation.

In a letter to local newspaper Western Gazette the parent wrote that society must do something about the issue or "we will be no more".

Due to legal reasons, the parent cannot be identified.

They wrote: "We have had to resort to home-schooling our child this year due to the effects of wi-fi at school and the unwillingness of the school to take appropriate action in consequence and the fact that it seems every school in the area has wi-fi.

"Lo and behold every one of these symptoms disappears when there is no wi-fi (as at home).

"The full situation only came fully to light as a result of a series of school absences. It would seem that, as is often, children ‘manage’ such symptoms and don’t want to make a fuss of them. What else is going on in the body, we dread to think.

"As parents we have also experienced similar effects and we know many others who have as well. Sometimes the effects have been so bad as to result in the need to resign from a job."
The 41 claimed side-effects of wi-fi

The parent has claimed their child has suffered from:

Tinnitus (buzzing in the ears)
Headaches
Head feeling strange
Pressure in head
Bloodspots from nose
Heart palpitations
Difficulty concentrating
Forgetfulness
Speech affected (word selection)
Redness of the face
Itchy skin
Skin rashes
Anxiety
Crying (or feeling like)
Agitation
Depression
Mood swings
Discomfort
Disconnection
Feeling out of control
Apathy
Loss of empathy
Loss of appetite
Nausea
Tummy pains or wind
Pain and / or stiffness in joints and muscles
Muscle spasms
Aching or restless limbs
Weak limbs
Stabbing pains
Poor decision making
Loss of balance
Flu-like symptoms
Nerve twinges
Avoiding eye contact
Eyelids flickering or twitching
Dry, itchy or smarting eyes
Shortness of breath
Excessive trips to the loo
Vomiting in mouth
Hair and eyelash loss



The parent wrote: "The absolutely crazy thing about wi-fi is that the Access Points (usually located on walls or ceilings or indeed hidden) transmit strong signals continuously even when no-one is using the wi-fi! I have heard it that the school register can only be taken using a wireless tablet. How ridiculous is that!

"If people don’t know, wi-fi consists of pulsed polarised microwave radiation. Incidentally, there may be other ways to connect wirelessly without the risk of harm. For instance li-fi modulates light (abundant and natural) - although systems such as li-fi are in their infancy.

"Over the last year too it has been noted in the media that increased screen time is associated with increased ill health. Many ‘screens’ are used wirelessly it would seem. Some, as in homes and offices, are not.

"What a good time to review wireless use and start cutting back on it for the sake of yours and the planet’s future!"

The parent added: "Some people say ‘we can’t do without all this’ but without doing something about it, we will be no more – along with the insects and other creatures whose numbers we hear are decreasing alarmingly (human fertility has reduced by some 60% in the last 30 or so years – the same period over which wireless has been introduced).

"There have been numerous appeals and declarations over recent years to the WHO and the UN. Is it therefore not time to think about our future and start reducing reliance on wireless and find other, better ways to do things?

"Much is talked about environmental pollution these days. This wireless radiation, given its prevalence, is pollution like no other."

Somerset County Council has been approached for a comment on the matter.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Somerset Live, Tomas Malloy, 28 Feb 2019

5G buildout will be more involved than we’ve been led to believe
United Kingdom Created: 26 Feb 2019
The 5G spectrum that each cellular network operator has license to will have ramifications for the 5G mobile telephony infrastructure they will have to build. Here we’ll take a look at what the industry knows about the behavior of signals at 5G frequencies and what that might mean for their deployment plans.

From the moment that the wireless industry decided it would make use of higher frequencies for 5G transmission, everyone has known spectrum would have some ramifications for those deployment plans. One issue, it turns out, will probably not be that big of a deal, the other somewhat more consequential, but neither is addressed very often. Both derive from what’s commonly known: the higher the frequency of a wireless signal, the less well it propagates and the less able it is to penetrate obstacles. So as a practical matter:

In contrast to deploying 3G and 4G, deploying 5G will require distinct indoor and outdoor strategies.
5G base stations will have to be spaced more closely, necessitating more of them, especially in densely populated areas.

That first concern would have been a much bigger problem for 5G but for a solution already widely adopted in response to another issue entirely. When operators of 4G networks got concerned they would become strapped for capacity, they began to support dual mode (cellular / Wi-Fi) handsets. A significant amount of what would have been wireless network traffic is now shunted off to Wi-Fi. Dual-mode operation represented a relief valve for the growing traffic problem.

Also, and it doesn’t happen all that often, but there are indoors areas where 4G reception is diminished or lacking. Dual-mode operation has been the answer for that, too.

And that points to why dual-mode operation is a blessing for operators evolving their networks to 5G. Indoor reception problems are guaranteed with 5G; higher-frequency millimeter wave signals in particular will not penetrate walls. If dual mode hadn’t already become a common feature, the industry would have had to introduce it.

An alternative would have been to create small cells that combine 4G and 5G (and probably Wi-Fi anyway). Wireless network operators have been considering small cells for more than 15 years, but if small cells were the best solution for anything we’d have them already. Nobody will deploy extra customer premise equipment (CPE) if they can get out of it to avoid the costs to buy and maintain it.

One other thing: network operators will be retaining all their 4G infrastructure. When 5G wireless phone subscribers who don’t enable Wi-Fi end up in 5G dead spots, they’ll be connected via 4G instead. So the bright 5G future for an awful lot of mobile phone use will actually be Wi-Fi and 4G. Feel the 5G excitement yet?

Weak signal propagation with 5G frequencies is the more serious constraint for mobile telephony, however, and it turns out that mmWave frequencies are not all created equal.

Buildings, hills, trees and other physical objects – even people (especially people, where there are crowds) will obstruct any mmWave signal.

Water vapor – humidity – will cause signal loss at 24 GHz. Oxygen is an impediment at 60 GHz. You read that right – the stuff in the atmosphere that is an absolute requirement for life on Earth can be a problem (see Figure 1).

As a practical matter, under most circumstances, water vapor and oxygen might ding a link budget by only a decibel or so, but then there will be circumstances in which it will be serious; rain fade has to be taken into account. “While a strong signal will not suffer, a weak or marginal signal may become unusable in heavy rain conditions,” reported Joel Conover, senior director of Industry Solutions & Digital Marketing at Keysight Technologies, in a recent EDN article.

There are other challenges when moving into mmWave frequencies, some outlined in the same story. For example, when a 5G receiver is moving at speed (say, 30 mph), channel coherence at frequencies of 6 MHz and below will be measured in milliseconds. In the millimeter range, that drops to microseconds. Not impossible to deal with, but it will have to be dealt with.

Previous estimates have been that the average distance between 5G base stations might be 250m to 300m. With combined effect of all the potential impediments, most equipment designers are targeting 150 meters to 200 meters apart everywhere, simply to get adequate coverage, Conover reports.

By way of contrast, 4G cells in densest urban areas might be as close as 400 meters to 800 meters apart (in more open areas they might be a kilometer or two apart, or more).

Wireless operators are going to have to install more 5G base stations than they did to support 4G, they’re going to have to install more 5G base stations than they originally estimated. This is going to increase the expense of rolling out 5G.

It is instructive to consider this when regarding wireless companies’ efforts to induce the Federal government to force local jurisdictions to reduce or eliminate pole attachment fees.

What does this mean for each wireless provider?

The only competitor that might possibly eke some edge out of all of this is T-Mobile. T-Mobile stocked up on licenses for spectrum at 6 GHz and below (< 6 GHz), and it plans to have its initial rollout of 5G services reliant almost solely on that spectrum. It also says it will use mmWave spectrum (assuming it wins the licenses it desires) at some later date to expand its 5G coverage.

Using mostly spectrum at < 6 GHz, T-Mobile might be able to establish its 5G network with greater spacing between cells, which would mean it will be able to get up and running having installed fewer cells at a lower total cost. It might end up with more reliable service, though that remains to be seen.

T-Mobile will eventually have to install more cells more closely packed when it does finally supplement its 5G coverage using mmWave spectrum, true, but at the very worst the company seems to have charted a path with the most measured approach possible to 5G-related capital expenditures.

The other major wireless network operators appear on a course where they will be mixing-and-matching <6 GHz and mmWave coverage sooner rather than later.

It makes no sense to install multiple, distinct sets of base stations, with each set dedicated to transmission at a single frequency. It would be exceedingly expensive, and exceedingly difficult from a logistics perspective, given the complexity of the process of siting cells.

Since every major wireless network operator will be mixing and matching 5G spectrum to get maximum coverage, all of them (with the possible exception of T-Mobile – and then only in the short term) wireless network operators will be compelled to space their 5G base stations at 150m-200m distances, regardless of the spectrum they have license to use.

Back in February, when companies were still early in the process of field testing 5G transmission systems, the Small Cell Forum estimated that by 2025, the industry will have installed 13.1 million 5G or multimode small cells. That is almost certainly now an undercount.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently in the process of selling licenses to 24 GHz and 28 GHz spectrum in separate, parallel auctions. There are 40 companies who have lodged bids for licenses in one or both; most are small regional companies. As has been the case with almost every US spectrum auction thus far, the biggest companies are expected to win the vast majority of licenses.

AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Cox Communications, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Windstream are the biggest companies competing for licenses for 24 GHz spectrum. Another notable bidder is Starry, an ambitious startup.

Verizon already has licenses to quite a bit of 28 GHz spectrum through its $1.8 billion acquisition of XO Communications in 2017. The list of network operators likely to snap up the majority of the remaining 28 GHz spectrum is almost, but not quite, the same as the list for the 24 GHz auction: AT&T (through AT&T Spectrum Frontiers), Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Frontier Communications and Windstream.
Click here to view the source article.
Source: EDN Network, Brian Santo, 19 Dec 2018

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