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Mobile Phones: A Major Requirement of Contemporary Telecommunications

Title: Comparative analysis between signals on mobile telephony and the impact on human health

Background

Mobile phones, often known as cellular phones, are now a major requirement of contemporary telecommunications. Associated with many countries, the mobile phones have mostly been used by specifically more than half of the population, and the market is quickly expanding. In many regions of the world, 5G deployment is already underway. However, as the rollout gains traction, a growing number of academics have expressed worries that 5G might be detrimental to individuals and the environment (Ahad et al. 2020). In relation to the implementation of 5G technology, there are also moratoriums and appeals which are signed by certified scientists and doctors. Do any of the accusations that 5G is hazardous, however, hold merit? The public's response to 5G has been tepid, to say the least, since firms began rolling it out. Many claims have been levelled against proponents of 5G associated with the safety, including a 2018 article alleging that a 5G network test in the Netherlands killed hundreds of birds. Globally, there are anticipated to be 6.9 billion subscribers in 2014 (Albreem 2015). Mobile phones are the most dependable or only phones accessible in various regions of the world. The investigation of mobile phone signals and their positive effects on human health is necessary. However, there are many research studies which showed that mobile phone signals have detrimental effects on human health (Aricioglu and Ferikoglu 2021). The signals of mobile phones are very low powered transmitters that operate at frequencies ranging from 450 to 2700 MHz and have peak outputs of 0.1 to 2 watts (Bandara and Carpenter 2018). When the handset is turned on, it just transfers electricity. With increasing distance from the phone, the power (and hence the radio-frequency exposure to a user) drops fast. A person who holds their phone 30–40 cm away from their own body – for example, while messaging in text or using or browsing the internet or using a device which is hands free in nature – will be exposed to far fewer radiofrequency fields than someone who holds it against their head. However, putting false reports to one side, are there any health hazards related with the use of 5G to consider? The fact that 5G employs extremely high frequency (millimeter-scale) waves that range from a few hundred megahertz to tens of gigahertz is one of the reasons why many people oppose it (whether the signal is low or high in frequency) (Aru, Adimora and Nwankwo 2021). These waves do not travel great distances like 4G because to their high-frequency properties. To guarantee clear 5G reception, antennae must be built closer to each other. People not talking about full-fledged cell towers here, but rather low-profile antennas that will take up a fraction of the space required by a traditional cell tower. Radio frequency radiation (RFR) exposure limitations established in the late 1990s have been confirmed by the Federal Communications Commission. Another issue is that 5G employs a small wavelength and a short range (high frequency) (Betzalel, Ishai and Feldman 2018). The radiation released by 5G, on the other hand, is non-ionizing. This means it lacks the energy to remove electrons from atoms (forming ions) and hence break chemical connections, such as those found in your DNA. Ionizing radiation, such as x-rays or gamma rays, released by radioactive sources in the exahertz range (EHz), is a kind of ionizing radiation (some ionising radiation, such as some UV light, lies in a lower range). Exahertz refers to frequencies of 1018 Hz or higher (Brice et al. 2017). This is several orders of magnitude more powerful than gigahertz (GHz) radiation, which has frequencies of 109 per second (or, a billion cycles a second). Many publications about the technology's probable detrimental effects have circulated practically constantly since it was initially disclosed. While certain allegations, such as 5G's ability to cause cancer, appear credible on the surface, others, such as its relation to the coronavirus or mind control, are entirely implausible. However, the health effects of 5G, or any EM radiation for that matter, are a hot topic of scientific discussion and research (Chettri and Bera 2019).

The Implementation of 5G Technology: Moratoriums and Appeals

For example, citing a huge body of data on the dangers of EMF exposure, more than 240 scientists have petitioned the United Nations for immediate action to minimise EMF exposure emitted by wireless devices, citing more than 2,000 peer-reviewed studies on the subject. Exposure is decreased by reducing the frequency and length of conversations, in addition to employing "hands-free" devices that hold mobile phones away from the head and body during phone calls (Chiaraviglio, Fiore and Rossi 2019). Using the phone in regions where there is strong reception reduces exposure by allowing the phone to transmit at a lower power level. It has not been proven that using commercial equipment to reduce radiofrequency field exposure is beneficial. Because radiofrequency transmissions might interfere with some electro-medical devices and navigation systems, mobile phones are frequently forbidden in hospitals and on aircraft (Chiaraviglio, Fiore and Rossi 2019)."No detrimental health consequences are demonstrated as being induced by mobile phone use," the World Health Organization (WHO) stated in 2014 (Brice et al. 2017). However, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have classed all radio frequency radiation (which includes mobile transmissions) as "potentially carcinogenic." Because "there are proofs that it is very hard to conclude that exposure may cause cancer in people," it has been placed in this category (He et al. 2017). Using powders and eating pickles mixed with veggies belong in the same category. Rats which are males, are subjected to high doses of radio frequency radiation developed a sort of malignant tumor in the heart, because of the study of toxicology produced by the US Department of Health in 2018 and cited by those raising safety concerns.

Processed meat and alcoholic beverages have been found to be affected by radiations.  Rats' entire bodies were exposed to radiations of mobile phones for two years, beginning from their birth to some hours to days post birth.  When the female mice and rats are investigated, they show no signs of malignancy.  A research on rats have shown that when the rats were exposed to radiation, they survived less than those who were not. "The doses employed in the research cannot be directly matched to the exposure that humans receive when using a mobile phone," a senior scientist on the study stated, even for heavy users (Colombi et al. 2018). Ultraviolet radiation from the sun goes into this group and can cause skin cancer. Even the energies at higher levels including gamma rays and x rays are subject to rigorous guideline restrictions since they may both cause harm to the human body. "People are naturally concerned about whether radio waves may increase their cancer risk, but it's important to remember that radio waves are significantly less intense than the visible light we see every day," says Dr. Grimes (Jones and Katzis 2018). Many additional base stations are required for 5G technology, which are the masts that broadcast and receive mobile phone signals. But, more importantly, because there are more transmitters, each one can operate at power levels which are lower than earlier 4G technology, reducing the amount of radiation emitted by 5G antennas. Radio frequency fields in sites generally accessible to the public are several times below permissible levels, according to UK government standards on mobile phone base stations. The microwave band contains a portion of the 5G spectrum that is allowed under international norms. Microwaves produce heat in the items they travel through (Gapeyenko et al. 2018). The heating effects are not dangerous at the levels used for 5G (and older mobile technologies), according to Prof Rodney Croft, an expert to the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) (Gultekin and Siegel 2020). "While a minor increase in total exposure to radio waves is likely when 5G has been added to a major count which is existing" according to the UK government, "the overall exposure is projected to remain minimal." The range of frequency of 5G deployed signals are in the non-ionizing zone of EM spectra, which is substantially below the ICNIRP's list of dangerous frequencies (Chettri and Bera 2019). "ICNIRP has studied the exposure that 5G would create in considerable detail, with limitations set substantially below the lowest level of radio frequency of 5G that has been proved to cause harm," Prof Croft explains.

Do Claims Against 5G Hold Any Merit?

5G, the most recent generation of mobile communication, will use greater frequencies and bandwidth to allow users to transport wireless data more quickly than previous smartphone standards. Previously, 'G' networks employed frequencies ranging from 700 MHz to 6 GHz. The 5G network will use frequencies ranging from 28 to 100 GHz. According to Ericsson, a Swedish telecom firm, 5G coverage will reach more than 40% of the world's population by 2024 (Huq et al. 2019).

The announcement of a new generation of mobile network technology (5G) has sparked a flurry of frightening predictions concerning related health dangers. This is not a new phenomenon: it has been around since the 1990s; worrisome assertions were made surrounding the debut of UMTS (3G) in the year 2000, as well as the commencement of LTE in 2010. This time it is more heavier than in the past, owing mostly to the development of social networks, which tend to propagate supposed "bad news" and terrifying stories at breakneck speed. When using a headset to make and receive calls, the head is exposed to less radiation (Foster and Balzano 2021). The BfS decided that there is no relationship between 5G radiation and cancer, which frequently develops over a 20-30 year period. "The technology is still in its infancy to make any conclusions."

On comparing with 4G, the speeds are predicted to rise up to 10 Gbps and include a 100x improvement. Along with the practice, the improvements in speed between 5G and 4G is expected to provide novel options to the customers. The transfer of a specific high-resolution video at peak download rates are expected to take only some minutes. Some extra time is taken when the phone is switched to airplane mode and then taken out at faster rate.

Moving from 4G to 5G is important for the environment and sources of energy also. The directionality of 5G is significant since 4G towers are responsible for sending all over which leads to the wastage of both power and energy. This issue ultimately leads to weakened access to internet. On the other hand, 4G networks have below 6 GHz. While 5G has been found to use higher frequencies in 30 GHz to 300 GHz range (Kostoff et al. 2019). This range is higher than that of 4G and thus the speed of internet is also high. The difference between 4G and 5g signals is huge and thus the movement will require an absolute transition from moderate to high end signal to the high end signal. As per the future predictions, it can be expected that 5G shall exceed 180 billion dollars in North America by 2030. Associated with this report, JP Morgan Research has examined that the future of 5G through lens of consumer demand and global adoption will be associated with exploring enterprise use cases.

The aim of this research study is to demonstrate the effect of 5G and 4G signals on human health.

The objectives of this research study are –

  1. To perform a comparative analysis between mobile signals and human health impacts.
  2. To demonstrate the effect of mobile signals on human health.

RQ – What is the impact of base antennae electromagnetic signals of mobiles (5G and 4G) on human health)?

The Investigation of Mobile Phone Signals and Their Health Effects

Research hypothesis is an important segment of any research paper which is aimed at addressing a research question. The null hypothesis and alternate hypothesis has been given below –

Null hypothesis (H0) = The effect of mobile signals (5G and 4G) do not affect the human health.

Alternate hypothesis (H1) = The effect of mobile signals (5G and 4G) affects the human health.

5G implementation has been on the way since the fall of 2020 and the start of 2021. For this reason, its health concerns are needed to be studied since there has been major evidences of mobile phones being the sources of harm to human, animal and plant health. 4G implementation has been slightly harmful but not completely harmful for the human health. However, 5G has been found to be very much young for its analysis in terms of human health effects. So, this research study will be focused on testing the effects of 5G and 4G signals on human health. This is the overall rationale for performing the research study.

The research study has followed the structure of a systematic review of literature.

Health concerns associated with the implementation of 5G and mobile telephony

Many scientists who have studied the impacts of mobile phone radiation have been accused of "fear mongering" by the telecoms industry and its specialists in the wake of the introduction of 5G wireless technology. Researchers feel than it is an ethical obligation to inform the public about what the peer-reviewed scientific literature tells us about the health hazards from wireless radiation, because most of our research is supported by the government. In a recent news release, the chairman of the Federal Communications Agency (FCC) stated that the commission will shortly reaffirm the radio frequency radiation (RFR) exposure limitations that were imposed in the late 1990s (Hirata and Kodera 2020). Nonetheless, since the FCC imposed these restrictions in the 1980s, a vast body of peer-reviewed research (over 500 papers) has demonstrated negative physiological or health impacts from exposure to RFR at levels too low to induce significant heating. "EMF affects live creatures at levels much below most international and national recommendations, according to a number of recent scientific articles. Increased cancer risk, cellular stress, a rise in dangerous free radicals, genetic damage, structural and functional alterations in the reproductive system, learning and memory deficiencies, neurological diseases, and negative effects on human well-being are only a few of the side effects. There is mounting evidence of detrimental impacts on both plant and animal life, thus the damage reaches well beyond the human race." The scientists who signed this petition undoubtedly represent the majority of nonionizing radiation specialists. In professional journals, they have published almost 2,000 articles and letters on EMF (Kachhavay and Thakare 2014). The RFR exposure limitations set by the FCC govern the intensity of exposure while taking carrier wave frequency into consideration, but they neglect the RFR's signaling qualities.

The fifth generation of telecommunications technology, known as 5G, is critical to establishing a gigabit society in Europe by 2025. The goal of providing uninterrupted fifth-generation wireless connectivity to all metropolitan areas, trains, and key roadways can only be realized by constructing a dense network of antennae and transmitters (Huq et al. 2019). To put it another way, the number of higher frequency base stations and other devices will skyrocket.

The Specifics of 5G Technology: Frequencies, Antennae, Radiation, and Wavelengths

This raises the question of whether greater frequencies and billions of extra connections will have a harmful influence on human health and the environment, resulting in persistent exposure for the whole population, including youngsters, according to study. While most academics believe that such radio waves do not pose a harm to the public, no research has yet addressed the consistent exposure that 5G will bring. More study on the possible detrimental biological impacts of is needed, according to the scientific community. For many years, frequencies above 6 GHz have been used in a variety of applications including radar, microwave connections, airport security screening, and therapeutic uses in medicine. However, the proposed use of millimeter waves in future wireless technologies, notably 5th generation (5 G) mobile networks, has sparked public concern about any potential health risks (Haider et al. 2019). To guarantee that RF exposure does not impair human health, international exposure standards for RF fields have been set based on current scientific understanding. Given the public's worry about the planned deployment of 5 G utilizing millimeter waves, it's critical to figure out if there are any potential health risks at environmental levels. There has been no direct epidemiological research on 5 G and its possible health implications. As 5G becomes more widely available, some have raised concerns about potential health risks. Two major problems have been raised, both of which are connected to the technology's radiation. The most widespread belief is that 5G promotes cancer. Second, 5G-emitted radiation is thought to damage the immune system, allowing COVID-19 to propagate (Simkó and Mattsson, 2019). Nonionizing radiation, on the other hand, isn't always fully safe. Visible light, which has a greater energy level than radio waves, is the most frequent kind of nonionizing radiation. Excessive visible light—or even radio waves—may generate heat, which can result in burns and tissue damage in extreme circumstances. The strength behind the electromagnetic radiation created by mobile networks, on the other hand, is well controlled and offers no harm to customers.

Health concerns associated with electromagnetic radiation

Artificial radio frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have become much more prevalent in recent decades. As a result, there is a rising scientific and social interest in its impact on health, even when exposed at levels well below the legal limit. The intensity of electromagnetic radiation in the human environment is rising, and it has now reached astronomical levels on our planet that have never been seen before (Karipidis et al. 2021). Direct tissue penetration is the most significant mechanism of EMF influence on living beings. The thermal effect is the basis for the present defined guidelines of EMF exposure in Poland and the rest of the globe. Weak EMF is widely recognized for causing a variety of dramatic non-thermal effects on human cells, tissues, and organs. The reported symptoms are difficult to attribute to other environmental elements that are present in the human environment at the same time. Although there are still debates over non-thermal consequences of EMF impact, the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)—Agenda designated radio electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic on May 31, 2011 (Verma et al. 2021). Electromagnetic fields can be harmful not just because of the risk of cancer, but also because they can create other health issues, such as electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is a syndrome characterized by the appearance of symptoms after people are exposed to electromagnetic fields generated by EHS is characterized as a symptoms with a wide range of non-specific multi - organ illnesses both in acute inflammatory processes mainly located in the skin and central nervous system, as well as the respiratory, cardiac, and neuromuscular systems. The EHS is not considered an illness by the WHO, which defines a disease as one that is characterized by medical diagnosis and symptoms linked with a recognized condition. The symptoms might be caused by a single source of EMF or a mix of sources. The overlapping impact of reported symptoms associated with electromagnetic fields is defined by the fact that other people who have these symptoms have a wide range of clinical presentations, all of which are linked to exposure to a single or numerous sources of EMF (Liu et al. 2018). Mastocytosis is linked to the phenomena of electromagnetic hypersensitivity shown as a dermatological illness. Biopsies obtained from skin lesions of EHS patients revealed mastocyte infiltration and degranulation, as well as the production of anaphylactic response mediators such as histamine, chymase, and tryptase.

Research and Discussion about the Health Effects of 5G and EM Radiation

Regions of electromagnetic spectrum harmful to human health

Based on the capacity of a single photon with more than 10 eV energy to ionize atoms or break chemical bonds, electromagnetic radiation may be divided into two types: ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation (Foster and Balzano 2021). Ionizing radiation includes UV and higher frequencies like X-rays and gamma rays, which offer their own set of risks: see radiation poisoning. Sunburn is the most prevalent radiation-related health danger, causing between 100,000 and 1 million new skin malignancies in the United States each year (Haider et al. 2019). Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields were categorized as probably harmful to humans by the WHO and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2011. (Group 2B). Tissues can be heated by radio frequency (RF) radiation at power density values of 1–10 mW/cm2 or greater. The average level of RF energy experienced by the general population is much below that required to induce considerable heating, however specific industrial situations near high-power RF sources may exceed safe exposure limits (Keller et al. 2019). The specific absorption rate, or SAR, is a unit of measurement for the heating effect. It is expressed in watts per kilogram (W/kg). The IEEE and several national governments have defined safety limits for electromagnetic radiation exposure at various frequencies based on SAR, mostly based on ICNIRP Guidelines, which protect against thermal damage (Yamamoto et al. 2019). Electromagnetic waves having frequencies in the range between 300 MHz to 300 GHz are known as microwaves. Microwaves were broadly utilized in homes, business, communications, and medical and military facilities, and they contribute significantly to the advancement of human society. Each of these seven is also a result of the voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) activation that is the major action of such EMFs. While VGCC activation by EMF contact with the VGCC voltage sensor appears to be the most common method of EMF action, other mechanisms appear to play a modest role

When sending a signal to a large number of receivers, a base station antenna is employed. This antenna acts as a hub for the local wireless network, allowing it to receive and broadcast signals. It sends out signals to a large number of people while concurrently receiving signals from a large number of people. This antenna, for example, may be useful for a cab center that needs to reach out to more people (Pall 2021). Despite significant studies, there is no solid proof that using a cellphone has long-term negative consequences in people. Mobile phone technology is progressing at a far faster rate than the study needed to understand the possible harm they might cause; much more research is needed (and is being done) before we can be clear about the effects they have on human health. Although some people are more vulnerable to radiation than others, the health risk is regarded to be quite low. Wireless technology is always changing (Sodhro et al. 2017). Every ten years or so, mobile providers introduce a new generation of wireless technologies. Each generation is a more advanced, enhanced version of the previous one. 5G is the most recent wireless technology network. It's used to send data between devices such as cell phones and Bluetooth headsets. Higher frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum are used in 5G. The frequencies vary from 3.5 to many tens of gigahertz (GHz) (Brice et al. 2017). 5G generates electromagnetic radiation, which is a sort of energy. It operates at higher frequencies than earlier wireless networks, making it more efficient and speedier. Electromagnetic frequencies, such as those generated by 5G, form an electromagnetic field (EMF). Some people feel that EMFs are harmful to their health. As a result, there is worry regarding the health implications of 5G. However, there are no recognized health hazards associated with 5G at this time. Minor research published in 2017 Mobile phones operate at frequencies ranging from 1.8 to 2.2 GHz, according to Trusted Source (Foster and Balzano 2021). According to WHO, these frequencies promote tissue heating. When your skin absorbs electromagnetic radiation, it heats up. The temperature of your brain and body rises somewhat as a result of this. According to Trusted Source research from 2021, when people become older, they suffer greater EMF-related tissue warmth. Furthermore, the more EMFs there are, the more they absorb. This is due to the fact that aged people's skin thickness and blood flow are both diminished. Tissue heating, on the other hand, is regarded to be a short-term and minor procedure. The public is also exposed to very low frequencies of EMFs, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (Zhan 2021). These concentrations are insufficient to generate significant tissue heating. More study is needed to know how 5G impacts human tissue particularly. The impact of 5G on cognitive function has yet to be investigated.

EMFs from various sources have been the subject of some investigation. Researchers looked at how using a mobile phone impacts cognitive performance in a short 2017 study. The researchers discovered that using a cellphone for at least 90 minutes each day is linked to attention problems. A brief assessment of research published in 2018 showed inconsistent data (Lin et al. 2015). The researchers looked at 43 papers on electromagnetic fields and cognitive performance. They came to the conclusion that there is no definitive association between EMFs and cognitive issues. EMFs are "probably carcinogenic" to humans, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Thirty scientists from 14 nations contributed to the categorization. The majority of research to far have looked into the possible link between EMFs and brain cancer. However, the outcomes have been mixed. There's also a misconception that 5G mobile networks are linked to SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 (Pall 2021). This is untrue.

5G is claimed to carry the infection immediately, according to speculations. Viruses, on the other hand, travel by respiratory droplets rather than wireless networks. According to certain rumors, 5G lowers the immune system, putting one at danger of developing SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (Sodhro, A.H. and Shah, M.A., 2017). However, this is also incorrect. There is no evidence that EMFs or 5G impact your chances of contracting a virus. The newest wireless network is 5G. It produces higher electromagnetic frequencies, which allows for speedier mobile communication (Chiaraviglio et al. 2020). There is currently no strong evidence that 5G has a harmful impact on human or animal health. The majority of researchers have looked at EMFs in general and have come up with varied conclusions.

The sun has been emitting waves that form EMFs, or radiation, since the beginning of time. People can observe the sun's energy radiating out at the same time it emits EMFs. This is light that can be seen. Electric power lines and interior illumination were widely used around the start of the twentieth century. Scientists discovered that the power cables giving all of that electricity to the world's population were emitting electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the same way that the sun does naturally (Chiaraviglio et al. 2020). Scientists have discovered that many new electrical equipment produce EMFs over time. Much of the medical world's diagnostic and treatment equipment, including as imaging systems for X-rays and CT scans, was discovered to emit EMFs as technology improved. 90% of the world's population now has access to electricity and utilizes appliances powered by electricity. As a result, a lot of power and EMFs are generated all over the planet.

Table 1 – Comparative analysis of various types of signals of the mobile network

Signal types/ Characteristics

Signal strength

Radio frequency

Base station connectivity

Type

First generation wireless cellular networking technology (1G)

2.4 kbps

850 MHz to 1000 MHz

Analogue

Voice signal

Digital cellular (2G)

-70 dBm to -85 dBm

1800 MHz

GPRS and EDGE

Slow

Packet based cellular (2.5G)

-60 dBm to -85 dBm

1800 MHz

GPRS

Moderate

Wideband cellular (3G)

-70 dBm to -85 dBm

2100 MHz

Note B or BS

Fast

Ultrawideband cellular (4G)

>= 20 dBm

2 GHz

LTE

Faster

5G

>= 10 dBm

3.3-4 GHz

LTE

Fastest

Table 2 – Comparison between analogue and digital communication

Slot number

Analogue communication

Digital communication

1

The analogue signal is used for the transmission of information

Digital signal is also used for information transmission.

2.

The amplitudes vary between 0 to 100.

The amplitudes vary between 0 to 1.

3.

Gets affected by noise during transmission.

Gets affected by noise during transmission.

4.

Error probability is high

Probability of error is low.

5.

Communication noise immunity is poor

Communication noise immunity is good.

6.

FDM – Frequency Division Multiplexing is used for multiplexing.

TDM – Time Division Multiplexing is used for multiplexing.

7.

Accurate data transmission is not accurate

Accurate data transmission is more accurate.

8.

Less portable

Highly portable.

The main difference between the digital and analog communication has been found to be associated with the use of transmission and reception of data with analog signals and digital signals respectively. The analog signals have been found to be continuous with respect to time. On the other hand, the digital communication has been found to provide major advantages for the fact that it is very much immune to distortion and noise as it has been found to process a wide range of signal to noise ratio (Aricioglu and Ferikoglu 2021). The specified use of repeaters has been found to be in case of digital communication and has been found to improve the SNR or signal to noise ratio. The digital communication has been found to require very less power than the analog communication. There is a major drawback of analog communication because of the fact that the strength of signal has been found to start reducing with the increase in travelled distance. Therefore, a degradation of signal to noise radio is observed. On the other hand, it has been observed that digital communication is based on the transmission of information between the destination and source. The signals have been found to consist of discrete values including continuous value also. The signals have been found to work in two major states – ON or OFF and 0 & 1.

Research design

The chosen type of research design is exploratory for this paper. In other words, it can be said that this design is defined as the research work which is used for the investigation of a specific problem which has not been clearly identified and much data is not available from the previous evidences (Aricioglu and Ferikoglu 2021). Thus, this type of research is conducted in order to have a better understanding of the current problem. However, for such a research work, the research has to use sources to identify the issues which will be the main study focus. Therefore, it can be said that consideration of a specific scenario where the participants will specifically answer the research questions. A survey template has been found to be primarily associated with an exploratory research design. This process has been found to have the third level of evidence. By the above statement it is meant that much data is not available in the previous research papers. However, since live participants are not available for this research, secondary research structure has been followed for this review paper. Moreover, this type of research design has been found to be associated with the highest level of evidences. In other words, it can be said that this research study has utilized a design with the highest level of evidence.

The search strategy for this research study based on systematic review of literature is keyword based. This means that a selected data source has been first chosen for the research = Google Scholar, because it is open access in nature. Then this database was searched with a set of keywords separated by BOOLEAN operators and truncations in order to screen the total number of papers. This search strategy has been used in systematic literature review (He et al. 2017) which is mostly found in previous papers. On the other hand, this search strategy is also effective in screening the total number of research papers and finding out the relevant pieces of articles for future research. The table of keywords and BOOLEAN operators has been given below in the appendices section of the research study.

Inclusion and Exclusion criteria of a research study are the major components of papers with systematic review of literature background. This section is primarily responsible for the screening of papers and collection of only the relevant pieces of literature for the research study. Determine the criteria that will be utilized to choose which research studies to include. In systematic review, inclusion and exclusion criteria have been found to play a major role in the screening process. On the other hand, it has been observed that There may already be a substantial amount of literature for certain systematic reviews. Thousands of results may be returned by the search method, all of which must be vetted. Having defined exclusion criteria from the start makes for a more efficient screening procedure for those doing it. A section of the review dedicated to 'Characteristics of Excluded Studies' should be included in the final result. It's crucial to explain why studies were eliminated, especially if the study appears to be appropriate for the systematic review to the reader. The inclusion and exclusion criteria of the research study are –

Inclusion criteria –

  1. Papers were written in English language.
  2. Papers talked of 5G signals and their effects on human health.
  3. Papers belonged to the publication time length of – 2015 to 2021. This time length has been selected in order give more value to the current research and findings about the selected study topic.

Exclusion criteria –

  1. Papers were not written in English language.
  2. Papers talked of 2G, 3G or other mobile signals and their effects on human health.
  3. Papers belonged to an older publication time length – period.

These are the overall inclusion and exclusion criteria of the research study.

Data has been collected from the papers obtained from Google Scholar database. Data collection is of two types – qualitative and quantitative collection respectively. These papers will be placed in a table format known as the data extraction table. Data collection is defined as the process of collecting necessary data for this research study. Following the same, the research study has been to be review in nature. This table will be used for jotting down the findings required to address the research questions. Following the same, qualitative data collection will be done. However, the main class of data collection for this research study is secondary – the secondary data collection. This process of data collection has been only used for review papers – systematic review, scoping review or general literature review process. Secondary data collection has also been used in another research study based on the systematic review of literature as the research design (Sodhro and Shah 2017).

Data analysis has been found to be a significant segment of every research study. This section is mainly responsible for analysis and evaluation of the collected data in order to check whether the answers address the research question or not. Both qualitative and quantitative data collection process have been found to play a major role. The hypotheses acceptance or rejection has also been found to be associated with data analysis. For this research study, narrative analysis of the collected data has been done. This is because of the fact that a review paper is mostly analyzed by thematic or narrative processes unless it is a meta-analysis. Narrative analysis of literature reviews has been found to be conducted in many previous review papers. The review results will be placed under the data synthesis part of the paper. The analyzed data will be further used to draw the conclusions to the research study.

The risk of bias assessment is very much necessary for review papers. This is because of the fact that the whole research is based on secondary data and if the risk assessment is not done properly, then the resulting answers to the current research questions can also include research bias. Statistical bias analysis has also been reviewed in this paper by using a specific risk of bias assessment tool. ROBIS tool will be used for analyzing the risk of bias in this systematic literature review paper (Kachhavay and Thakare 2014). The specific target audience of ROBIS includes the authors of the paper followed by the specific methodological parts of the paper. Risk register has been found to be used in many secondary studies in order to increase the quality of the paper. After the risk of bias assessment has been completed, the study can be stated to meet all the external validity criteria.

The WBS (work breakdown structure) for this review paper is –

  1. The proposal for the paper was submitted first.
  2. After the proposal was accepted and approved by the ethical committee, the process of data collection was started.
  3. Soon, within few hours of searching the chosen database, data collection process as completed and the collected data was subjected to analysis.
  4. After the collected data was analyzed, the findings were linked with the research question and a discussion was written with respected to the already available evidences.
  5. Finally, the whole paper was written in a review structure and submitted to the board for review and evaluation.

The chart has been attached in the appendices section of the present research study. This chart is responsible for showing the work breakdown structure of the research study. Since this is a literature review-based research, the work breakdown structure is not very large. The same has been placed in the appendices section of the research study.

Comparison of different sources of radiation

Table 3 – Sources of radiation comparison table

Nuclear -

Sources of ionizing radiation

Discussion

Nuclear background radiation

Cosmic radiation, terrestrial radiation, inhalation and ingestion are the public exposures.

Artificial sources of radiation

Discussion

Atmospheric testing

Testing of weapons in the atmosphere.

Medical sources

X ray machines and nuclear medicine applications.

Industrial sources

Nuclear gauges used to build roads

Nuclear fuel cycle

Uranium used for nuclear chain reaction.

Non- Nuclear (Mobile signal radiation) –

The cell phones have been found to emit radiation in the region of radio frequency in the electromagnetic spectrum. The second, third and fourth generation signals of cell phones termed as 2G, 3G and 4G have been found to emit radiation in the range of 0.7 to 2.7 GHz. On the other hand, it has been observed that the 5G cell phones are anticipated for using the frequency spectrum to 80 GHz (Deruelle 2020).

As the findings from the collected pieces of research study state, it can be said that these frequencies fall in the region of non-ionizing range of spectrum – the frequency has been found to be very low and low in energy content also. This energy has been found to be very low for damaging DNA. On the other hand, the ionizing radiations include x rays, cosmic rays and radon which have high energy as well as frequency which can destroy human cells easily (Magsi et al. 2018). So, the risk of cancer has been found to be increased as soon as the huma bodies are exposed to ionization radiations. Since, the 5G technologies as well as 4G with their predecessors are non-ionizing, human health is not negatively impacted. Therefore, it can be said that there is no chance of health and nervous system damage of human beings on exposure to mobile signals especially 4G and 5G.

 The overall structure of base station antenna

Fig 1: The overall structure of base station antenna

Source: Hardell and Nyberg (2020)

One of the most used model for the development of base signal antenna is the Reference Model Element. Antenna is the first part which is a simple dipole with complex phased array. RF is the element responsible for analog processing, followed by the model which converts analog to digital signal either at the output of RF or input of element. The link processor is responsible for running the operations for enhancing the link based on the data information from the modem. The security gives the link an encryption so that no third part can access it in between. Finally, the element delivers the traffic to the other parts of the system at a specific rate of conversion or translation from one scheme of voice coding to another. This is the overall structure of a base antennae station according to the reference model.

In signal processing from the base station antennae, a pulse is a rapid amplitude based change of a signal from a specific baseline value to a higher or a specific lower value followed by returning to the baseline value again. There are three major shapes of pulses according to all research papers – the rectangular shape, the Nyquist pulse shape and the Gaussian pulse shape (Miller et al. 2019). The rectangular pulse is found in boxcar functions, pulse waves and square waves. The down and up transitions between low and high levels are specified as falling and rising edge respectively. On the other hand, a Nyquist pulse is one which meets the Nyquist ISI criterion in data transmission (Kachhavay and Thakare 2014). These pulses are used in optical fibers can be packed more closely with 10X magnification or increase in bandwidth. Finally, the Gaussian pulse is shaped as the gaussian function and is known to be produced by the Gaussian filter.

SAR is measured as a rate at which the energy is absorbed per unit human body mass when the exposure frequency is RF for the electromagnetic field (Magsi et al. 2018). The process is also referred to as radiation absorption rate and affects the human body tissues. The criteria is also defined as the power that is absorbed per unit mass of the tissue. There is a specific method for the measurement of mobile phone SAR for human bodies. The safe values for SAR have been found to vary between countries. The US FCC has been found to require that the phones must have 1.6 watts per Kg SAR for 1 gram mass of tissue (Deruelle 2020). The EU union or CENELEC has specified that the SAR limit for hand held device is 2 W/Kg averaged over the 1-gram tissue that is absorbing the signal.  

The outer space radiation is primarily made up of three different types of particles – particles trapped in Earth’s magnetic field, particles shot on space during the solar flares and finally the galactic cosmic rays which are protons with high energy content and heavy ions which are present outside the solar system. The outer space radiation has the ability to alter the cardiovascular system which damages the heart, narrows down the arteries and harden or eliminates the cells and the linings of blood vessel followed by the development of a cardiovascular disease (Persia et al. 2018). Beyond the low orbit of earth, space radiation can place many astronauts at high risk for the sickness due to radiation and increase the overall risk of cancer during their lifetime. On the other hand, the nervous system can also get affected when the human beings are exposed to the ionizing radiation with doses in the range of 50 to 2000 mSv. These radiations can sometimes alter the mobile phone signals during a solar storm of an outer space catastrophe.

The findings have stated that the 5G wireless technology which is meant for delivering high multi Gbps peak data speeds with specific ultralow latency which is more reliable in nature (Miller et al. 2019). On the other hand, the massive capacity of network has increased the availability of more unform experience of users. The massive network capacity followed by increased availability with higher performance and improved efficiencies for empowering new users and connection of new industries (Sodhro and Shah 2017). The future network of E sport s is connectivity that will help boost the speed of online gaming, 5G connectivity has been expected to help the online gaming industry in most of the ways as they will give all the online gaming platforms various ways for unlocking novel potential in the apps. As obtained from the official website of the WHO, it can be said that to date there is no evidence on the adverse effects of 5G technology on human health (Hirata 2018). Health related problems and conclusions have been found to drawn from studies which have been performed in the entire radio spectrum and not only 5G. Only a few studies have been specifically conducted with 5G. There is a major reason for the less availability of 5G based research works. The reason is that mass implementation of 5G has still not occurred.

The findings of this research have shown not harmful impact of 5G on the human health and the benefits if implementing the same for the world acts as a promoting factor against the effects.

6G is defined as the sixth generation standard of networking and communications system under development (Persia et al. 2018). The support towards cellular data networks is prime for 6G. This is the planned successor to 5G also and will definitely be faster also. Most of the recent papers have conceptualized 6G and its unique features which can be included. AI has been found to include most of these predictions and from 6G supporting AI infrastructures to AI designing and optimization of 6G architectures protocol and operations. Another paper has stated that Nature Electronics will use 6G framework when it is on the line. Higher security functions, more privacy and security are the key features of 6G which will make it a permanent choice for future growing organisations (West 2016). A research study has stated that 6G is expected to have the frequencies in range of 100 GHz to 3THz which is also in the promising bands for the next generations. However, it can be said that the transmission speed turns out to be the biggest challenge as there will be a limitation of power or energy which is needed for the consumption by the signal. Also, such fast transfer can give rise to heat in the electronic circuits which needs to be controlled to the acceptable proportions. Many countries are targeting to get 6G by 2024 as a major replacement of 5G (West 2016).

As a result, it can be said that as the mobile network technology grows with the generation, the effects on human health goes on decreasing. This is because of the fact that the frequencies and intensities of the radiations goes on increasing and decreasing respectively, therefore the penetration into human tissues will decrease. Today, the world is nearing to 6G invention and mass replacement of 5G which has still not been properly implemented on a mass basis (Zhao et al. 2016). The main observations from the previous research studies have specifically been found to talk of impact of all radiations on human bodies – not separating 5G from their discussion point. Tissue heating has been identified as a major mechanism of interaction which is present in between radiofrequency fields and the human bodies also. The exposure to radiofrequency levels from major technologies has resulted in a temperature rise that is negligible for the human body. The research study was discovered to be predominantly linked to all non-ionizing radiation, not only 5G. However, unlike all previous signal types – 2G, 3G, and to a lesser extent 4G – 5G had a very high frequency, which limited the signal's penetrating strength. In other words, the signals failed to penetrate through the skin, resulting in illnesses such as cancer within the human body. The state of exposed skin and eyes is currently under investigation. The energy emitted by 5G radiation is found in the non-ionizing area of the electromagnetic spectrum, according to the findings. These rays are unable to disrupt the links between biological tissues or DNA, resulting in cancer or viral illness. The exposure RF was shown to be substantially below international exposure standards. The majority of research have found that 5G has no effect on the human body. Other findings that showed minor impacts on human bodies had low ratings and quality based on critical review, indicating that the results are unreliable. Because earlier studies were skewed and the danger of 5G RF assessment for human health consequences is yet unknown, the signal cannot be declared detrimental to humans. 5G cannot be classed as detrimental to human health since the ionization energy is discovered to be well below the acceptable exposure thresholds for health concerns.

There was no link between high frequency radiation and human health, according to the findings. There were insufficient data or information in the available research to conduct a thorough examination of 5G radiation and its effects on human health.

As the frequency goes on increasing, there is very less penetration of the radiations in the body. This means that the tissues of human body will be safe from the potential effects of radiation and the absorption of energy becomes confined to the body surface and not inside. This means that the skin and eyes are prone to the radiations associated with this signal (Pall 2021). No specific consequences on human health are anticipated provided that the exposure levels are very low. As per the observations from various previous research studies, it can be said that the radio wave band which is used for mobile phone networks is non-ionizing in nature and thus it can be said that no break of DNA can be observed and cellular damage another danger which is not possible to be caused by radio waves (Betzalel, Ishai and Feldman 2018). 5G signal is not the same as that of X rays, gamma rays and the UV rays coming out of the sun. 5G technologies also need many base stations which are the masts that transmit and receive the mobile phone signals.

On a concluding note, it can be said that although 5G signals have still not been proved to be harmful for the human health as the ionizing radiations, it can be said that the same can be implemented in mass for the time being. The high frequency and low ionization followed by penetration property of 5G as well as 4G signals makes it safer for the human beings. 6G progression is also on the line since there is moderate difference between 4G and 5G in terms of functional properties (Hardell and Nyberg 2020). 5G signals have also been found to required higher number of base stations and lack proper research for its health effects. Since some of the research studies have been found to talk of the need of primary studies to find out the actual impact of 5G on skin and eyes, it can be said that 5G signals are not 100% safe.

Conclusion

5G signals have been found to be the latest installation in the field of mobile networking. In other words, it can be said that the 5G signals are primarily more effective than the other generation signals. There are many advantages of 5G signals which makes it the best choice for the online gaming industries. The low pings and latencies have been found to be primarily associated with core online gaming as well as browsing also. The IT sectors have been found to be associated with working online and therefore 5G is a major source of advantage for them. In other words, it can be said that this research study is primarily based on addressing the aim and objectives of this study were specifically assessed. Moreover, it has been observed that the 5G signals have very low or no effect on the internal body parts of the human beings. As the frequency is high and the penetration power is very low, it can be said that 5G signal has no major effect on the human body. The signal has been found to be associated with human skin and eyes. However, still no research has been conducted to test whether the skin and eyes are affected by the 5G signal. The research paper has specifically addressed the aim and objectives. In other words, it can be said that the study has also answered the research question. The question was regarding whether the effects on human health were associated with 5G or not. This research study was based on review format. Although the evidence level was high for this research paper, the reliability of data is very low. However, the paper has conducted a risk of bias assessment which has shown that most of the collected papers were unbiased since most of the papers were in review format. In every collected paper, the risk of bias assessment was conducted. The comparison between 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G has shown that 5G is the best network with very less harmful signals. However, some disadvantages of 5G were also observed. One is the fact that higher number of base stations are needed for the installation of 5G in an area. The lack of enough primary studies creates a major gap in the evidence-based studies. Keeping all the odds aside, it can be said that this research study has shown that 4G, or 5G connection has very little or not effect on the human health.

From the above findings, the mass 5G installation and implementation can be recommended. The installation of higher number of base stations is also recommended for the faster implementation of 5G. Increase in research studies (primary) for the analysis of 5G effects on human eyes and skin is also recommended. However, it can be predicted that since the human skin is always exposed to the environmental radiations, the present 5G radiation will serve to be less harmful for the human beings. Moreover, it can also be recommended that the future generations can also shift to 6G networking as it will be faster and will be negligible effects on the human body system. For the gaming industry as well as the IT sectors, 5G shifting is a must since it has very low ping and latency. Every other sector based on internet usage is recommended to shift to 5G connection as it is faster than all the previous types of signals. 5G is not harmful for the human health – atleast when compared with its 2G, 3G and 4G counterparts. Thus, the mass implementation of 5G and a final shift to 6G is expected.

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