5G Is Here! But What About its environmental Effect?

The successor to the current 4G wireless communication is the 5G. It is already existing in a few other Asian countries such as China and South Korea and is highly anticipated in India as well. 5G enables greater storage capacities and exchange which is modeled to handle the growing digital business and volume of data. To go forward with this, 5G requires a millimeter-wave bandwidth in the range of 30 to 300 GHz.


There has been a lot of controversy revolving around the 5G technology for quite a few years now. It has not been universally accepted yet. One of the major reasons is the fear of an unparalleled environmental disaster on a global scale.


The existing 4G infrastructure uses antennas to broadcast signals at one go in all directions. For 5G to flourish it will require greater infrastructure that means more smart antennas as well as small antennas. A humongous network of antennas will be required on a national scale to make the coverage equal with the 4G network and even more, rather triple more antennas in rural areas will be required to provide proper broadband service.


This technology will make sure to get hold of better connectivity and smoother performance with higher speed, but such a sought-after technological advancement comes at a grave price. In an extremely digitally connected world standing today, this technology would come at the cost of our environment.


The Internet at the end of the day is not intangible and digital pollution is very much real. People forget that supporting the Internet requires building and maintaining thousands of data centers to store information, miles of the network to carry it forward, and millions of computers, tablets, and smartphones to connect to them. This creates trouble. The number of internet users grows each day and their demand chain in terms of its consumption keeps getting higher and higher. The pollution becomes difficult to control and it tends to go out of hand.


The billions and billions of connected devices whose manufacturing contributes to the depletion of non-renewable resources, such as fossil fuels and minerals, which are more often than not extracted by making children work in less than humane conditions. Most devices standing today are not compatible with the 5G technology yet, so to put this technology to use the current devices have to be discarded and newer devices have to be manufactured. This disposal and manufacturing of devices will impact the environment even more so by the destruction of soil caused due to the extraction of minerals and a greater level of greenhouse gas emissions as well by the depletion of non-renewable resources and this, in turn, would also pollute the water as well.


According to reports digital technology currently emits 4% of the world’s greenhouse gases and its energy consumption keeps increasing with each passing day. With 5G coming into the picture the energy consumption of mobile and tab operators would double in the next five to six years. Digital pollution is called e-pollution and is spreading its dirt almost everywhere with no effort of monitoring consumption. The overall carbon footprint being emitted is disastrous, to say the least.


Finally, with great wants, needs, and desires comes greater catastrophes. It is our responsibility to spread awareness and this is just a start. 5G holds surprises that we fail to fathom now but knowing about these concerns should make us more cautious of its use in the future.