Most of us don’t give science a great deal of thought and yet it contributes to every aspect of daily life. Science allows us to benefit from new technological advances, make informed decisions and solve practical problems and challenges.
Since the invention of the first electric telegraph by Samuel Morse in the 1830–40s, science has provided us with ever evolving ways of communicating. Without science the newest kid on the block, 5G, would not exist.
5G builds on the capacity of 4G networks and improves how we currently use our devices.
Future applications of 5G are said to be “game changers” with the potential to transform the way we live and work through, for example, remote medicine and driverless cars.
As with previous generations, the transition to 5G has, however, raised questions about its safety.
5G will initially use the same frequencies that have been safely used for decades by mobile phone networks and other wireless telecommunications.
These frequencies and the higher ones that 5G will later use emit very low levels of electromagnetic energy (EME). The science shows higher frequencies do not mean higher levels of EME. In fact, 5G will actually generate lower levels of EME.
Decades of international and Australian scientific research show frequencies used for mobile telecommunications, including 5G, are not harmful to human health. This is supported by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, the International Commission on Non-ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the World Health Organization.
Australia has a strict safety standard in place around telecommunications and EME limits. This standard is 50 times below safe levels in the ICNIRP guidelines. It is set at a level that is vastly lower than that were harm might occur.
So the science about 5G is very clear and backed by significant, credible research. It means we can enjoy faster connectivity and a whole range of new and evolving applications, while having confidence in the safety of this next generation of wireless technology.