The Pros (and Cons?) of 5G Networks

By James Carlini | May 15, 2019
Platform for Commerce
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2020 was supposed to be an important year for those involved in network infrastructure and broadband connectivity. 2020 was supposed to be the year when we all would be using 5G networks for our various communications devices and applications.

We are coming up to the year 2020 pretty fast, and the rollout of 5G Networks is far from being ubiquitous. Some cities have it implemented and running on a limited basis, but it is a far cry from being totally installed.

If we look at the need for upgrading other layers of our infrastructure in the “Platform for Commerce” (See diagram above), many would overlook the network infrastructure layer. It is too important to overlook based on all the critical needs being created by a deep dependence on broadband communications, video streaming and mission-critical applications.

Why do some view 5G technology as a doom-and-gloom health issue?

As I have observed in my book, LOCATION LOCATION CONNECTIVITY, “Economic Development equals broadband connectivity and Broadband Connectivity equals Jobs.” If we want to remain viable into tomorrow, we need broadband connectivity today, and 5G Networks are the major vehicle to take us to that viability.

5G Networks are a paradigm shift in the fabric of network infrastructure and will provide all new capabilities and high network speeds. These new features and combinations of new applications will become the catalyst for local and regional economic growth. The financial world predicts it will create all new types of industries and jobs. It will be a catalyst for a new economy.

To compete globally, the United States needs a state-of-the-art infrastructure, a strong platform for commerce. Old infrastructure will adversely impact productivity and competitiveness.

In a recent interview on the Illinois Channel, I mentioned several reasons why it is important for the United States should move forward. One of the issues brought up in the interview and later in the comments section was the issue that 5G networks are bad for the environment and toxic to anyone close to them. There is a claim that the microwave emission and radiation are more than humans can stand.

Why would anyone install something that would harm someone and open themselves up for one or several class-action lawsuits in today's litigious society?

That makes no sense. If there are any issues with radiation, they should all be mitigated by protective shielding on antennae and devices so they become harmless. This network overhaul needs to take place, and it needs to be done right.

Network infrastructure is part of the total platform for commerce that all of us depend on to create and sustain jobs. If that infrastructure is obsolete, you will not see any real job creation and companies will actually move out of areas that cannot support their broadband requirements. The new network capability will create jobs.

We need to update our infrastructure on all levels to compete globally as well as attract and maintain corporate employers within the region. The network infrastructure cannot be overlooked.

For those criticizing the network upgrade, read this financial perspective.

Setting the record straight

It is good to question the capabilities and liabilities of any emerging technology as long as that skepticism is well-founded. Just going against something based on incomplete information or false conclusions is a waste of time.

When it comes to 5G networks, we do not have the time to waste in getting it fully functional within the fabric of the infrastructure. If there are serious health problems based on radiation emissions, you would think someone has already done the due diligence on that area of concern.

I just do not see the executive wisdom in any of the major companies looking at launching this next-generation network if it will become the basis of multiple class-action suits in the courts.

5G Networks? Full speed ahead.

About The Author

James Carlini, MBA, is a strategist for mission-critical networks, technology and intelligent infrastructure. He has been the president of Carlini & Associates since 1986. He is author of "LOCATION LOCATION CONNECTIVITY," a visionary book on the convergence of next-generation real estate, intelligent infrastructure, technology, and the global platform for commerce.

His “Platform for Commerce” definition of infrastructure and its impact on economic growth has also been referred to by the US ARMY Corps of Engineers in their Handbook, “Infrastructure and the Operational Art.” (2014)

His firm has been involved with applying advanced business practices, planning and designing mission critical network infrastructures for three decades.

He served as an award-winning adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University’s Executive Masters and undergraduate programs for two decades (1986-2006).  He has been the keynote speaker at national and international conferences.

He also appears in civil and federal courts as well as public utilities commission hearings as an expert witness in mission critical networks, network infrastructure and cabling issues.

He began his career at Bell Telephone Laboratories (real-time software engineering), AT&T (technical marketing & enterprise-wide network design support for major clients) and Arthur Young (now Ernst & Young, Director of Telecommunications & Computer Hardware consulting).

Contact him at [email protected] or 773-370-1888. Follow daily Carlini-isms at





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