Swiss carrier Sunrise to launch 5G, debunks 5G myths, fears

Sunrise CEO Olaf Swantee said the operator would launch Switzerland's first 5G mobile network in March 2019. (Sunrise)

The Swiss operator Sunrise is gearing up to launch Switzerland’s first 5G network, and the company has released a 5G mobile technology fact sheet to address public concerns around the safety of 5G networks. 

Sunrise CEO Olaf Swantee said the operator would launch the country’s first 5G mobile network in March 2019. And Sunrise has been rapidly deploying Huawei’s 5G tech across 150 cities and villages in Switzerland ahead of the launch.

RELATED: Sunrise set to transfer staff to Huawei in IT operations outsourcing deal

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Meanwhile, public advocacy groups around the world have voiced concern over possible adverse impacts of high frequency 5G technology, as operators deploy thousands of small cells in neighborhoods and urban centers around the world. Sunrise decided to take these concerns head on in a recently released fact-checking sheet developed by Switzerland’s Telecommunications Association (ASUT). 

“Birds dying, military weapons, government conspiracywhen it comes to the 5th generation of mobile communications, the hit parade of falsehoods being spread is a long one,” ASUT said in a statement. “For the first time, the Swiss Telecommunications Association is releasing a fact-check document on 5G for everyone who would like to be able to rely on truth in the news and not misinformation.”

RELATED: Legislators raise worries about cancer from 5G 

Much of the concern around 5G is that the higher frequency millimeter wave spectrum might cause cancer or other adverse health impacts on users. ASUT’s fact sheet says the mobile radiation is about as carcinogenic as a cup of coffee, and that 90% of an individual’s exposure to radiation comes from the person’s own mobile phone, not a cell tower. Finally, it states that mmWave spectrum is not available to operators in Switzerland. 

“The concerns raised in public appeals, petitions, etc. concern what are referred to as ‘millimeter waves’, and with frequencies in the 26 GHz to 300 GHz range,” ASUT said. “Licenses for these frequencies are not granted at all in Switzerland, and are thus presently unavailable for use in mobile communications and 5G.”

The fact sheet also addressed myths that 5G is a weapons technology that will be used by the military, and that 5G tests caused hundreds of birds to die in the Netherlands. 

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