What is 5G, When is it Coming and Why Do We Need it?

5G Is Coming Soon But It’s A Complicated Process

In the race the build 5G networks, telecommunication companies are scrambling to provide this next generation of mobile connectivity as quickly as possible. Certainly, the carrier that gets there first will have the benefit of being the early leader for return on investment.

Businesses and consumers will be willing to pay a premium for early access to this technology, but building the network means overcoming a few key hurdles. 5G Is Coming Soon. Do You Care? You Should. Here’s Why.

Cost

It’s expensive to build the infrastructure necessary to support 5G. The high frequency waves required mean that cell cites must be closer together. 5G waves have difficulty traveling over distance and through objects.

New Health Concerns

This also means towers will be closer than ever to users. Not all consumers are convinced that this is without significant health concerns either. While there is no conclusive evidence regarding cell tower exposure and health, the data is new and not yet consistent.

Finding Skilled Employees

Another issue is that existing towers need new equipment to work properly with 5G. The existing towers are much larger, higher off the ground and therefore more dangerous for employees.  Just finding employees willing to do the job is creating problems.

Where Will 5G Sites Go?

Telecommunication companies are expected to add approximately 300,000 new cell sites or antennas within the next year. That’s almost double the number currently in existence right now.

Furthermore, wireless carriers are pushing to place newer, smaller cell cites in public areas such as lampposts, traffic lights and on top of municipal buildings. Property owners and real estate investors may be approached as well, particularly in densely populated areas that need a large number of cites to eliminate coverage gaps.

Cities on the cutting edge of smart technology are most likely to work with cell companies to offer 5G to businesses and residents. While the benefits are immense, so are the complications.

In the past cell tower companies paid for the use of renting space for towers. This meant that churches, municipalities, and landowners could negotiate terms for lease agreements, often ensuring some level of protection for their land. Today, legislation is being passed that limits rent rates and the ability to regulate installation of these small cells on public property. Not only does this legislation compromise fair compensation, it allows telecommunication companies to hold all the power.

Citizens and communities are wondering about their say in all of this. Concerns over public health, privacy and security are increasing as more people become aware of the process to make 5G possible. Having a massive number of interconnected devices may mean a more connected world is right around the corner, but the impact of long term negative consequences are not yet known.

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