(CBS News/CBSNewYork) – The wireless industry is in a race to roll out 5G service. The network is supposed to be up to 100 times faster than current data speeds, but it requires cellphone tower equipment to be closer to users than before. Wireless companies in the U.S. say they’ll have to install about 300,000 new antennas – roughly equal to the total number of cell towers built over the past three decades. That’s causing outrage and alarm in some neighborhoods, as antennas go up around homes.

At a lab in New York, Verizon invited CBS News’ Tony Dokoupil to meet some of the entrepreneurs developing tools to run on the next generation of wireless technology. Jonathan Reeves, the CEO of Arvizio, said 5G service is extremely important to his company’s mission. His product allows users in different locations to interact with 3D images projected through a lens.

“Today, we can do this using Wi-Fi technology, and we can do it using landline technology. But of course you’re then tied to particular locations. With 5G, now we can begin to extend this. So we can actually begin to start doing this on building sites. We can start doing it on the factory floor. So it really opens up a whole new world,” Reeves said.

But before that world can become reality, this one needs to change. 5G requires the installation of new equipment across the U.S. Every wireless company is working to build its own 5G network.

Melissa Arnoldi, who leads AT&T’s efforts, said if it’s not already in your neighborhood, it’s coming.

She said 5G uses high-frequency waves that support faster speeds but don’t travel as far as current wireless frequencies. So instead of relying on large cellphone towers spread far apart, they need “small cell” sites that are much closer together.

“We’re going to use our existing infrastructure today. Whether it’s light poles, whether it’s street lights. So we’re going to make sure that we don’t make it obtrusive to our customers and to the citizens,” Arnoldi said.

Yet some don’t share the enthusiasm.

“The cell towers are called small cell towers, but they are not so small when they are in your front yard,” said Donna Barron. She is protesting plans to convert light poles in her Montgomery County, Maryland, neighborhood into small cell sites.

“This will cause cancer,” Barron said. She was one of several people who raised health concerns about the radiation emitted by the equipment at a government hearing last month.

Cell phone equipment does emit radiation but research on its health effects has been inconsistent. According to the National Cancer Institute, “A limited number of studies have shown some evidence of statistical association of cell phone use and brain tumor risks… but most studies have found no association.”

If Barron loses the fight, she said she’ll consider moving. Either way, she fears property values could plummet when 5G equipment pops up.

“It could drop 20 percent,” she said. “For that house, that house, that house. And then pretty soon you go around the curb and there’s another cell tower. They’re all through this neighborhood. So it’s going to devastate the neighborhood.”

Arnoldi insists her workers are focused on safety, pointing out they live and work near this equipment, too. Although she doesn’t have any 5G antennae in her neighborhood yet, she said it’s coming soon and she’s “absolutely” comfortable with that.

Wireless carriers have announced plans to roll out 5G service to a handful of cities later this year. But to really take advantage, you’ll need a 5G-enabled device, which probably won’t be available until next year.

Comments (59)
  1. As telecom regulator or operator does not do it, you may monitor your cellphone radiation level with Quanta Monitor, for free.

  2. Unplug your wi fi and see if you sleep better. Go ahead…try it.

  3. It’s funny how people associate cell phone “radiation” with NUCLEAR radiation. Cell phones emit RF radiation, or non-ionizing radiation. Far safer than ionizing radiation, like gamma radiation or x-rays. Ionizing radiation is a high-energy, hard-hitting radiation that strips electrons from atoms, and will damage the molecular structure of DNA. RF radiation has the potential to excite the molecular dipoles in a body’s stored water, creating heat and possible thermal damage, but only at concentrations thousands and thousands of times stronger than you’d encounter standing directly at the base of a 5G cell tower. If Donna Barron is going to advocate for something, she should take the time to learn the science behind it.

  4. I have been hearing this for at least twenty years now. It used to be transmission lines were causing cancer. I have never met or known anyone who got cancer from their phone. There were the same fears about microwave ovens when they first came out, and they’re still around.

  5. Kelley Eidem says:

    The most IMMEDIATE danger from 5G are the harmful effect they have on negative oxygen ions. This will kill EVERYONE far faster than the fears of cancer.

    We absorb the harmful ions through our skin and they lower your cell’s voltage, including your immune cells. But our cells repel viruses and bacteria through voltage! Viruses and bacteria see low voltage cells as being delicious!

    We breathe in 22,000+ viruses a day. So long as our voltage is good, the viruses cannot make any headway. The very close 5G units will lower everyone’s voltage without exception, This means 100% of us get viral and bacterial infections.

    When one virus or bacteria runs its course the next one will step right up to keep us sick – until we die of pneumonia.

    1. I have tin foil hats for sale for only $25 each. Please send a text too 27541 to order yours today! Be the first on your block to have 5G protection for your head!!! 😛

    2. What year did you take biology, 1154? Been a few discoveries since then you may want to brush up.

  6. Oh, Goodie!! NOW we can finally have FASTER ADS on mobile!!

  7. Don’t you just love it when some East Coast liberal with no education, screams nonsense about radiation, and the whole liberal media raises the din to become fact. Idiots!

    1. Pilot Dave says:

      Donna Barron – better start packing for your move to Northern Montana… Your cell phone has a max radiation of less than 1/3 of a watt. The cell micro-tower, a few watts. My HAM Radio antena next door to you, at least 200 watts, but sometimes I need 1,000 watts to reach India. Not to mention your local TV, or Radio station emits 50,000 – 100,000 watts of radiation… Oh, BTW, better get a house with 12v DC everything because the 240v AC power grid running through your current house also emits radiation.

  8. Idiots worried about cell towers where the radiation one receives is in the micro-micro watts, but have no concern about the radiation of their stupid cell phones they hold up besides their tiny brains.

    1. Both are bad numb nuts…

      1. I see you missed the point completely. I know you are trying to be a wit, well keep trying, you are half way there.

  9. John Ruff says:

    I have one question – just why do we need 5G. If anything we need to eliminate some or all of this electronic crap so people can go back to talking to each other.

  10. “Anti-racists” say there’s a RACE problem. They say it’ll be solved when non-Whites pour into ALL & ONLY White nations and “assimilate” to get a brown mixture.

    They say only White nations have this RACE problem; they say non-White nations are fine.

    If I object to my own genocide these “anti-racists” say I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    They say they’re anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

  11. pfbonney says:

    I’ll bet that those fearing EM radiation from the cell towers are Democrats. I’m old enough to remember their fear of radiation from microwave ovens causing cancer. And their fear of Alar on apples causing cancer, and of saccharine causing cancer, and EM radiation from high-tension power lines causing cancer, and I’ve lost track of all that other stuff that was feared by Democrats of causing cancer. And just how much of that stuff actually did prove to be a cause of cancer, anyway? (Sacchrine, if you gorged yourself on it.)

    The Leftist Luddites need to quit being so fearful of new technology.

  12. Ms.Arnoldi needs her own personal cell tower, placed appropriately.

    1. Samuel Green says:

      I was going to simply suggest she wrap her head, home, or both with tin foil, but you’re suggestion is the better remedy

  13. Can’t they just bounce 5G waves off chem trails, smog blankets, metallic streams, sewer bogs, deserted malls and oozing landfills?

  14. Joe Swartz says:

    Statistics 101, example:
    Every cancer patient has actually drank water. See how easy that is?

  15. fluoridated water (plus other assorted nasties), poisonous “vaccines”, gmo trash “food”,
    chem-trail loaded atmosphere, complacent, self-absorbed, GODless, death worshiping
    culture…now pump up the 5g microwave volume !

    sounds like a recipe for healthy living to me….nothing to see here, keep moving….
    ….it’s not like we are fragile, bio-electrical organisms…..nooooooo….. of course not!
    ….just another conspiracy theory, now pay your taxes, sacrifice your
    children to molek…..and keep on moving!!!

    1. Are you serious? Vaccines have eradicated diseases that once killed tens of millions; GMOs feed a world of 7.6 billion people; fluoride in water has helped to obliterate tooth decay in the first world; and life expectancy has never been higher. You Luddites never cease to amaze me.

      1. yea, you’re right , i haven’t
        seen a dentist office around in years.
        go ahead and eat a tube of tooth paste
        and see what happens (note the poison label on the tube btw)!
        …and i said POISONOUS vaccines.
        do some research on how vaccines have been
        adulterated by poisonous adjuncts and live viruses
        which work in direct opposition to the body’s natural defenses!!!
        …before you open your ignorant orifice.

        1. oh i forgot , cancer has
          NEVER been higher also!!!

        2. You’re a complete idiot. All of these things–vaccines, fluoride, GMOs–have vastly, unquestionably improved the quality of human life, which is why our life expectancy has never been longer and quality of life has never been higher. Cancer rates have increased because the U.S. population has aged and is more obese than ever; it’s not linked to cell phones, vaccines, or GMOs–there is zero evidence for your anti-scientific assertions.

          1. …says the dumb ass ostrich
            with it’s head in the sand.
            sorry to confuse you
            with the FACTS.

            …another sjw lacking
            any ability for critical thinking.
            life is always wonderful, great and
            problem free…..
            until it’s NOT!
            no more pearls for you oinker,
            these words will haunt you forever…..promise

          2. Huh? Quality of life better than ever? Yeah, because we have electricity, clean water, and easy access to information. But chronic health conditions are at an all time high in western countries, especially the USA. 1 in 2 men, and 1 in 3 women, for example, will get cancer. 1 in two people over the age of 85 will get alzeimer’s. 1 in 42 boys gets autisim (a disease that was 1 in 10,000 only 30 years ago). The most common death is heart disease, a disease that does not exist in many countries. There are many societies that use almost no prescription drugs and no vaccines, with far healthier individuals. The USA uses a majority of the world’s prescription drugs, uses enormous quantities of vaccines, has fluoridated toothpaste and water (one of the only major countries in the world to fluoridate its water), etc., yet is still one of the most chronically ill countries in the world. Our quality of life is better largely in _spite_ of these types of things, not because of them. 5g wireless is only going to make things worse. Our bodies are already over stimulated with EMF radiation, something that has been known to be harmful to the human body for a number of years, yet is ignored thanks to the telecom lobby. 5g will push this to limits never seen before.

          3. Kelley Eidem says:

            The cancer death rates are age adjusted. The rest of what you wrote is equally erroneous.

  16. A little more radiation is never a good thing.

  17. Of course it will cause cancer. Microwave transmissions fry the brain – thus the rapid surge in brain cancer – particularly in teens. The cell phone industry just wants bucks and is like big pharm, who will advertise and sell death non-stop. Trillions of dollars are at stake. Shielding your home, car and monitoring microwave exposure in public will now become mandatory to stay alive and healthy. And yes, half the response here are paid shills for the industry – aka astroturf.

  18. I could care less about faster speeds. 4G is fast enough for most users. What I do care about is my monthly bill and if I am forced to switch to 5G. Oh, and BTW, 4G can be faster than it is. Wireless providers hold back on purpose so they can come up with “new technologies” to justify charging more, selling new phones, etc.

  19. She must also believe in Global Warming, Yeti and anything else the left puts out…

    1. The World Health Organization puts Electromagnetic Radiation in the “possible carcinogen” category…. same as lead and gasoline….do you let your kids play with those every day???
      For anyone willing to do the research will see there are thousands of studies showing a cancer link…
      Unlike “global warming” the money here is in deigning the risk….always follow the money…

  20. Brad Buttram says:

    What the hell am I missing. A random homeowner says “These will cause cancer” and suddenly there’s a CBS report that there are ‘health concerns’. From what official capacity do these concerns come? Got me to click, I guess.

  21. If cancer rates are up, it’s because the age of the population is up and because incidents of cancer are related to obesity. The U.S. is fatter and older than ever in its history. You can’t just say, “Well, cancer rates are up; must be because of cell towers.”

    1. I never thought of that. We’re just getting older. Whew. But then I know three children with leukemia and four friends with bad cancer in their 50s and one just died. I’m sure you don’t know anyone but oldsters with cancer. Lucky you.

      1. All of us have links to tens of thousands of people and know people impacted by cancer as a result. Show me the evidence that cell towers cause cancer. Because simply citing increased cancer rates without providing context about age, obesity, and even red meat consumption (linked to cancer, btw) is non-scientific and meaningless.

      2. I know of people that have cancer and they are different ages, etc. But there were those kinds of cancers before cell phones. Is it related or not? Remember they said eggs were so bad for you and not they have contradicting evidence. Science changes as advancements are made. If scientist can report different results over time, how can I take the word of someones concern is with her property values as her bottom line.

  22. Most studies indeed show no problem. I’m inclined to believe them, based on my personal knowledge of radio electronics. But I really respect the completely uneducated guesses of the gadflies above.

      1. The “evidence” that you’re citing is not related to the topic at hand. Their complaint is not with the 5G cell towers, but with the radiation emitted from the 5G-enabled cellular devices.

        1. You dumb.

          You think the elites are putting in underground bunkers because of the sun?

          1. Ah yes, conspiracy theories…

  23. Cam Kirmser says:

    If it negatively affects home values, then the companies setting up the 5G towers need to be held financially responsible for however much a homeowner loses.

    1. Greg San says:

      If they are installed in every neighborhood, then logically there would be no impact to home values as all neighborhoods will have them.

  24. Yeah, and cancer isn’t at epidemic levels. Nothing to see here. Move along to your grave.

    1. Hyperbole much? Cancer is NOT at epidemic levels.

  25. 5 years from now, 6G towers will be placed in every backyard in America. 8 years 7G will be placed within your brain itself. I love technology.

  26. Jay Barbieri says:

    5G will not get you into Heaven.

  27. The USA is currently leading the way on 5G. At the June 2016 press conference where the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) head Tom Wheeler announced the opening up of low, mid and high spectrum’s. There was no mention of health effects whatsoever. But the dangers are real.Thousands of studies link low-level wireless radio frequency radiation exposures to a long list of adverse biological effects, including:

    DNA single and double strand breaks
    oxidative damage
    disruption of cell metabolism
    increased blood brain barrier permeability
    melatonin reduction
    disruption to brain glucose metabolism
    generation of stress proteins

  28. I led an effort to prevent Verizon from putting a cell tower in our neighborhood. This, after a lot of research that clearly proved this is a dangerous technology. Bill Clinton signed the 1996 communication act that prevents us from stopping the proliferation of cell towers due to health concerns. The swamp cares not about our health, just their profit. The evidence is now overwhelming.

    1. If there is ANY truth to “cellular causes cancer” (spoiler: there isn’t) it is in that handset you put up against your brain. Don’t do that, and you’ll be fine. The danger is enhanced when the cell tower is far away, since the handset knows it’s far away and sets its own radio transmitter to Max, blasting its signal through your brain.

      5G moves the cell node (no longer a “tower”) to a few hundred feet away, so that both the cell node and your handset can work at MUCH lower power. If there is any truth to “cellular causes cancer” (spoiler: there isn’t) then this will reduce that risk considerably.

    2. You are making things up. There is inconsistent evidence concerning cell phone usage and cancer. There has been some correlation shown when holding the handset to the ear, but correlations does not equal causation and the evidence is far from “overwhelming.” There is NO evidence that cell TOWERS cause cancer.

  29. The NTP rodent study, often erroneously cited by opponents to cellular site projects, was designed to study the health effects of HANDSETS not CELL SITES. The RF levels of a cell site at 20 – 100 feet are much lower than the levels of a cell phone held up to your head.

  30. People fear what they don’t understand and a lot of people don’t understand a lot. These are the same folks whose kids get chicken pox because they think vaccines cause autism. They worry about cellular radiation, yet they fill their houses with WiFi devices that put out more of the same radio waves than any cell site would.

    The scare tactics that people use is EXACTLY why the federal government should preempt local control.

  31. I am considering having the wireless system removed from my home, They already agree about cell phones and health. I an redoing my home and the meter is outside my bedroom wall, I am going to line the wall with lead lined drywall. Lets say the hype about health is right, Does anyone actually believe they would admit the problem down the road? Took them how long to admit agent orange was bad?

    1. Vince Vesper says:

      Save some money on lead-line drywall, and simply wrap some aluminum foil around your vulnerable organs (head, testicles etc)…

    2. “They already agree about cell phones and health”, the agreement in the scientific community is that they are safe. That is the consensus, not the other way around. Cancer is a disease of mutation and radio waves do not carry enough energy to disrupt DNA or cellular processes. Radio waves cause molecules to wiggle but not strong enough to break them up like an xray. Light from a light bulb has far more energy than a radio wave. Enjoy your WiFi and stay out of the sun.

  32. rho1953 says:

    OK, so what is the strategy then if all the cell towers have to come down? If you think that is going to happen, you are probably a democrat.

Leave a Reply to Alan J.P. (@ajp345_) Cancel reply