5G promises to take things a step further, with faster speeds and latency that could put mobile internet on par with home Wi-Fi. But technologically, it’s very much an evolution of our current cellular technology. And the three different approaches to 5G in the US make those gradual changes really clear.
ATT and T-Mobile’s low-band networks, for example, are in the 600MHz and 850MHz bands — effectively the same area of spectrum as existing LTE — but they rely on new transmission technologies like MIMO antenna arrays and carrier aggregation to increase speeds beyond what LTE can offer.
There are plenty of other good resources that can go into this in far more detail, but nearly all of the scientific evidence we have (along with the Food and Drug Administration, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Cancer Society) agrees that cellphone radiation doesn’t pose a threat to humans.
That’s because, fundamentally, 5G radio is in the same chunk of the electromagnetic spectrum as the rest of cellular data, which is all made up of non-ionizing radiation. That means that it all lacks the energy needed to remove electrons from atoms and degrade cells — the kind of damage that harmful radiation can cause up the spectrum.
Sprint’s (or, more accurately, the new T-Mobile’s) midband 5G in the 2.5GHz goes further up the spectrum, offering more bandwidth and even faster speeds than low-band 5G, but it’s more limited when it comes to coverage