It’s an indisputable fact that over the past decade the world has experienced a marked increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters. From storms, to floods and wildfires people across the country, and in the United States in particular, are suddenly faced with a reality that includes dangerous and pervasive natural disasters. As a result, forecasting and meterology are more important than ever before. That’s why so many experts are warning against the creation of 5G networks around the world.
Now at this point, many of you are wondering what in the world 5G networks have to do with natural disasters, and that’s a very natural reaction. The truth is we didn’t mistype that. 5G networks and natural disasters share a very important connection. Let’s take a closer look.
The issue all comes down to radio waves. A 5G cellular network uses radio waves that networks of the past never tapped into. Unfortunately, weather satellites have been utilizing those frequencies for years. Meteorologists are now warning 5G providers that if their network start popping up all over the world, it will severely interfere with the meteorologists ability to accurately predict weather patterns. This could have devastating repercussions when it comes to major storms.
Eric Allaix, national frequency manager at French weather agency Meteo-France discussed the issue with the Insurance Journal. “It’s a trade-off between the economic benefits of 5G and the costs for human life,” said Allaix. “The satellite won’t be able to distinguish if these signals will be appearing because there’s a hurricane coming, or if it’s a consequence of the out-of-band emissions of this 5G technology.”
This is an issue that the entire world is facing. Since the signals interfere with satellites, if any country has a major 5G network it will affect the rest of the world’s ability to detect and predict weather patterns. As a result, a conference has been put together for October in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, “…where almost 200 national regulators will try to forge an agreement in the face of fierce lobbying by the telecommunications industry, space agencies and forecasters,” writes the Insurance Journal.
Mobile industry trade body the GSMA and the U.S. government’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have both released statements claiming that 5G will not interfere with weather forecasting in any way.
The GSMA goes on to warn critics that if carriers are blocked from using these airwaves that they will be leaving roughly $565 in economic value on the table.
Of course, there are solutions that involve compromise. For example, regions could be created where only 5G or weather satellites can operate. Alternatively a buffer zone could be created between areas where 5G is used or weather satellites are needed.
The market is demanding faster wireless services and 5G is the answer. But with the reality of how frequent and dangerous severe weather events are becoming, accurate forecasting is a necessity as well. A compromise is going to have to be found.