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11.05.2020 Feature Article

COVID-19, 5G Network And The Place Of Common Sense In Technological Advancement

COVID-19, 5G Network And The Place Of Common Sense In Technological Advancement
LISTEN MAY 11, 2020

With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and its devastating effect on humanity, the world was obviously caught unawares and became distraught. People of this generation had never witnessed such a devastating pandemic of monumental proportions as this. So there had to be an “explanation” for it even if it meant concocting one just to defend the vulnerability and the unpreparedness of the entire world. That was quite understandable!

However, no matter the theory anyone is propagating as the reason for the outbreak of the coronavirus and the vulnerability of the human race to it, such a theory should be factual, evidence-based and scientifically proven. That is because if factual, it will help the world to defeat the virus and defend itself against a similar outbreak in the future, but if not, the world would wallow in the darkness of ignorance concerning it while also losing what should be the huge benefits of the 5G network, a system that has had the misfortune of bearing the blame for what it does not seem to know anything about.

Although there has been theories linking 5G to the global coronavirus pandemic, trends in the world have come to prove that such linking is vacuous and untenable as most countries in the world that have rolled out the 5G network have experienced some of the sharpest and most significant decline of the pandemic even while they are increasing the deployment of 5G.

For example, South Korea which is one of the countries with the highest deployment of the 5G network, deploying to 85 cities as at January, 2020, did not suffer any coronavirus infection until February 19, 2020 when 27 cases tested positive. The country suffered her highest number of infection, 851, in a day on March 3, 2020, but has since experienced a steady decline to the extent that she recorded no single infection on May 6, 2020, despite not suspending her 5G deployment.

More interesting is that of Sweden which went live with the 5G network since December 2018 but only suffered her first coronavirus infection one year and 3 months after on March 3, 2020 with 15 cases testing positive. The place of common sense here is, if it were true that 5G had any link whatsoever to the COVID-19 pandemic, why then did it wait one year and three months after deployment in Sweden before it started affecting the citizens, and only after the scourge had become a worldwide pandemic? When one also considers the fact that a country would have done testing of the deployment years earlier before going live, then we can safely conclude that 5G in Sweden is not responsible for the outbreak of COVID-19 just like it is not in any country anywhere in the world!

Although Estonia, like Sweden, went live full blast with 5G in December 2018, the country did not record any case of coronavirus until March 5, 2020 when she recorded 3 cases. That was another one year and three months after the launch of 5G in the country. And since then, the country has experienced a rapid and steady decline in the number of people infected by the virus to the extent that on May 10, the country recorded only six cases. This is in spite of the fact that the country has never suspended 5G services. While 5G services are going up, the pandemic in Estonia is going down. This is a clear indication that 5G is never responsible for COVID-19.

On her part, Japan had a target of launching its 5G mobile service in 2020, and her largest wireless carrier, NTT DOCOMO, began its quest for 5G in 2010 with initial experiments. The company rolled out pre-commercial 5G services in September 2019 and with its success, started offering consumers 5G services on March 25, 2020.

In is instructive to note that a country that is as advanced in research, science, technology and medicine would not have been as callous as offering her citizens 5G from March 25, 2020, in the climax of the coronavirus pandemic, if, indeed, 5G had any link with the novel virus. Like many other countries, Japan has since seen her worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic as she recorded her highest infection of 743 on April 11, 2020 but has since experienced decline in the number of infections to the extent that she recorded 114 cases on May 9. The most interesting part of this is that, while Japan started experimenting on the 5G network in 2010, she never recorded any COVID-19 case until 10 years later, in the aftermath of the outbreak worldwide. If 5G was responsible for coronavirus pandemic, it would not wait ten years to strike in Japan.

I am still just trying to make commonsense of this technological advancement

Although China has some of the highest numbers of infection, she has experienced a speedy and steady decline since February 12, 2020 when she had 14,108 cases in a day, and had no single case for a long time despite her 5G services still being very active.

There is no way the United States of America would not have cancelled her 5G services having recorded the highest number of coronavirus related deaths in the world if truly there was any link between 5G and the virus. These are countries that place premium value on the lives of their citizens and would do anything including outright cancellation of any technology that so much ravages their citizens. It is time to stop being scared of technological advancements, it is time o embrace them tightly.

Contrary to the rumours making the rounds, it is not true that Switzerland “has placed an indefinite moratorium on the use of 5G network because of health concerns”. In fact, according to Swisscom, the largest telecoms firm in Switzerland, a whopping 90% of Swiss population already enjoys 5G services with such cities as Lutzelfluh, Bern, Davos, Nyon, Zurich, Burgdof, Basel, St Moritz and Estavayer already covered with over 2,000 antennas installed last year alone. Only few cantons in the country have expressed concern about placing the 5G equipment in their locality, hence, prompting the country’s Environment Agency to write the government on what steps to take with further testing in order to assure the few cantons that have expressed concerns.

Denying placing a blanket ban on 5G in Switzerland, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment described reports of such ban or suspension as misleading. It went further to say that although it wrote a letter to the government, such letter did “not contain any recommendation to stop the permitting of 5G base stations. Rather, it sets out how the cantons can proceed with the permitting of 5G and adaptive antennas until FOEN’s enforcement aid on adaptive antennas is available.”

In all these, the advantages of having the 5G network cannot be overemphasised. It will certainly change how we do things radically, making life easier and better. With unprecedented speed of up to 10Gbit/s over time, a response time that will fall from the current 25 to 35 milliseconds to just a few milliseconds, with more devices enabled to transfer far more data which could mean we can transfer as much data in a day as we currently do now in one week, its efficiency and many other merits of the new network, it would be economically suicidal, socially asphyxiating and technologically retrogressive if we allow the rest of the world to leave us so far behind because of some unfounded fears over a technology that we should be racing to embrace rather than demonise.

The coronavirus pandemic like every other pandemic that has hit the world in the past will soon pass. When it does, the 5G network will remain and the world would be better for it. The earlier we embrace it, the better. While I understand the fears of people and sympathise with them on their fears for 5G, evidence from around the world where 5G has since been in operation show that the network is innocent of all the charges leveled against it.

[email protected] ; Twitter: @StJudeNdukwe

Jude Ndukwe
Jude Ndukwe, © 2020

The author has 102 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: JudeNdukwe

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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