Now 5G is coming, hallelujah. Many people are eager for the new technology, including yours truly. When I wrote an article in 2012 about what I thought 5G would be, I thought 5G would be “intelligent wireless technology that can connect the world without borders”.
I think this is pretty much exactly what I expect we have in front of us, but there were two aspects I didn’t think of then.
A new polarisation
The first is that with 5G we have a new polarisation in the world. On the one hand, China is not let into the networks for security reasons. On the other hand, the rest of the world will not be allowed into China if you believe in the threat from the Chinese state. This excellent power policy has not been contributed to by wireless in the past; it is clear what a power tool “big data” and wireless networks have become. China is now trying to exert all the power it can. In a press release from the embassy in Sweden, they say that 5G is a joint project for humanity. The very essence is that 5G technology, according to the embassy, was developed mainly by Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei and that the road to 6G is made more difficult by the fact that companies cannot freely cooperate.
I do not work with IT security at that level and do not know precisely why Huawei has been excluded from 5G deployment in Sweden but does this outburst from China not feel a little like we caught them with their hand in the candy jar and now trying to find a way out?
Innovative technology, stupid debate
Second, the technology is intelligent, but the debate has reached a rarely before seen low watermark. I saw a video recently about a doctor. He slept so poorly at night and could link it to the use of 5G. I find it hard to tell the difference between the truck radio, GPS satellites and 4G when I’m sleeping, but I guess he could. The solution was for him to put a jammer at home, and it was solved, then he slept better. Then he wore a copper necklace on a chain around his neck that filtered out the rest of the 5G radiation when he was on the move. The absurdness in the debate about 5G has reached a new level.
Another example was a discussion caught in the noise. One person had a device made by Huawei at home. Many telemarketers with various offers have contacted him, and he thinks it must be the Chinese who are taking his contact details. Now he needs help to find something made in Europe, so he doesn’t get any more offers.
Technology is intelligent, but much of the debate is not. It’s also becoming common to blame everything on the Chinese. Let’s help remind each other that we need to be factual and nuanced through the journey to 6G.