New Zealand and India to study health impacts of 5G networks

Chart showing 5G growth
Researchers from New Zealand and India will jointly investigate the possibilities of adverse effects of electromagnetic radiation on human health caused by the next generation of telecommunication networks called 5G, a New Zealand researcher said in a statement on Wednesday.

Massey University will collaborate with India’s Birla Institute of Technology and Auckland University of Technology on the project ‘Analysing Harmful Electromagnetic Exposure due to Future Millimeter Wave Transmissions’ over 2016-2017.

“If the future wireless signals are found to be harmless to the human health, this project would build consumer confidence in the future telecommunication services. However, if this project shows that the 5G network leads to, or potentially may lead to adverse health impacts, the industry would be required to modify the underlying wireless technology to ensure the human well being,” principal investigator Faraz Hasan, School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, said in the statement.

This project seeks to develop new techniques that allow the assessment of 5G wireless signals and their electromagnetic exposure to human beings. The findings will be compared against the existing thresholds that have been set aside by a number of regulatory bodies.

“With some industry giants predicting 50 billion connected devices by 2020 and with the employment of much higher transmission frequencies proposed for the 5G rollout, it is essential to determine how the future of telecommunications will affect the health of its user,” Hasan said.

This research is one of the externally funded projects currently being carried out by the Telecommunication and Network Engineering research group under the Electronics Cluster at Massey University.