The rollout of fifth generation (5G) mobile technology is causing a stir across Switzerland.
Groups, such as the Association Romande Alerte and the Gigaherz Club, are protesting at the rollout of the new technology, claiming that it poses potential health risks. In addition, they argue that it isn’t needed because current networks are sufficient.
Elected officials have joined these groups and members of the public in resisting the installation of new 5G antennas.
This week the canton of Vaud announced it would temporarily freeze permits to install new 5G transmitters. The resolution calls for a ban on 5G transmitter installation at least until the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) has finished its study into the effects of the new technology.
5G uses higher frequencies and more bandwidth than 3G and 4G, enabling users to transfer more wireless data faster. Existing networks use frequencies between 700 MHz and 6 GHz and have transfer rates of 100Mbit per second. 5G operates on frequencies between 28 and 100 GHz, allowing it to operate at rates of up to 10Gbit per second, 1,000 times the rate of 4G.
However, these higher frequency 5G signals have a lower range so 5G small cell transmitters are typically no more than 250 metres apart. This means many more transmitters are required.