The Inner Circle

 View Only

5G Harmful? Or a Necessity in a Digital Taxonomy ( Industry 4.0 -2023)

  • 1.  5G Harmful? Or a Necessity in a Digital Taxonomy ( Industry 4.0 -2023)

    Posted 29 days ago

    Integration of new or upgraded Technologies driven by evolution has propelled the human transition to an Internet of things (IoT) and "Anything as a service" (XaaS) digital consumption era, Thus the dire need for high-speed connectivity becomes a critical necessity for effective business operations, human interaction, and mission-critical services across vertical sectors which includes; Health, Transportation, Energy, Industrial, Education, Insurance, Finance, Aviation, Agriculture, Government, Defense & Security, the list goes on. The global digital future and the new economy's productivity are positioned to depend on the swift inter-connectedness of sub-systems, intelligent automation(IA), and trustworthiness of Operational technologies(OT), Industrial control systems (ICS), IoTs, and other data-centric infrastructure to be resilient and provide real-time solutions, to support the limited human capabilities, reduce risk of human error and meet increasing supply chain demands.


    The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) forecast that the total mobile devices reached 8.9 billion in 2022, surpassing the total human population of about 8.1 billion with a 10.7% difference, these prominent factors will impact digital data traffic growth and drive spectrum demand.  

    The UN's Sustainable Development Goal 9 calls for the building of resilient infrastructure, the promotion of inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering of innovation. This is in line with Industry 4.0, which is based on the Digital Revolution. Industry 4.0 is based on Digital Revolution Thus the 5th Generation of wireless network technology and other future telecoms mobile wireless networks will revolutionize Information Technology and Economic operations, as 5G infrastructure, functionality, and capabilities will enable Network virtualization, High-speed ultra-cutting-edge connection, and wireless transmission communication to multiple devices via the exchange of radio wave signals known as millimeter wave (mm-wave) from antennas (radio towers, satellite or small cell) through a transmitter to a receiver over the air, carrying data and processing information at an ultra-reliable low latency (URLLC). Additionally, 5G will facilitate network slicing, remote teleoperation via applications, Dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS), Beamforming - MIMO (multiple input, multiple outputs), Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC), Time Division Duplex (TDD), etc. at a low latency of about 1milli-second compared to previous generations of wireless networks like 3G and 4G LTE. Just think of 5G as an enhanced "wireless connection and a Technology enabler".

    5G capacity is projected to unbolt advanced capabilities of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), and edge computing - ( Impact of 5G on the European Economy by #Accenture, 2022).

    5G electromagnetic frequency distribution is grouped into 3 Spectrum bands:

    I) Low band(600MHz - 2.5GHz): Low-band 5G networks operate in the same frequency range as LTE and other cellular technologies, from 600MHz to 2.5GHz. This band provides wider coverage(long wavelength) than higher frequencies but is limited in terms of speed.

    II) Mid band (3GHz - 6GHz): Mid-band 5G networks typically operate between 3GHz and 6GHz, providing faster speeds than low-band networks but with a shorter range.

    III) High band (24GHz -300GHz): High-band 5G networks operate at frequencies above 24GHz, providing the highest data rates available on a 5G network. However, due to their short wavelength, they offer limited coverage compared to lower frequency bands. Millimeter wave technology is used to enable these high-band networks.

    5G mmWave: A high spectrum level of performance available on 5G networks is provided by the use of millimeter waves (mmWave). These waves provide ultrafast data speeds in short distances with low latency which makes them suitable for applications like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), or autonomous driving systems that require a lot of bandwidth with minimal lag time between devices communicating across the network

    "5G mmWave spectrum will influence network capacity, and bandwidth than the pre-existing band". (GSMA mmWave Spectrum Needs. vision 2025 -2030)

    5G systems and embedded 5G components will drive future interoperability in IoT, as 5G Core, Radio Access Network (RAN), and New Radio (NR) will enhance user equipment (UE) and other Device-to-Device (D2D) connections and transmissions of radio frequencies - it will be essential for mission-critical applications like autonomous vehicles (V2V), remote surgery, connecting smart cities, smart monitoring, patching, and upgrading, Augmented Reality (AR), real-time holographic concerts, and gaming experiences enhanced via 5G wireless virtual spectrum.

    Hologram:- "Time Travel without Travel" -When Tech Meets Entertainment: Proto hologram tech was used live on TV to beam Canadian icon Howie Mandel to the stage at Canada's Walk of Fame 2022 Award event. #ProtoHologram

    The impact of 5G-NR enhancements, 5G Open Radio Access Network could allow greater diversification of suppliers within networks in the same geographic area - (EU - Cybersecurity of Open RAN 2022).

    5G will contribute to GDP- it will enhance industrial growth, social cohesion, and national development.- (Global Future Council on New Network Technologies  by WEF & #pwc | Strategy& analysis )


                   Howie Mandel hologram at CWO 2022 by ProtoHologram

    Evolution of Wire-less Network Technologies

    -  VOICE (Analog cellular)

    2G -  VOICE, SMS, DATA (Digital cellular)

    3G - VOICE, SMS, DATA, AUDIO, VIDEO (Broad Bandwidth, CDMA, IP Technology)

    4G - VOICE, SMS, DATA, AUDIO, VIDEO, WEARABLE DEVICES (unified IP & seamless combination of broadband LAN/WAN/PAN/WAN

    5G - All-inclusive! + DL & UL OFDM / OFDMA WAVEFORM, Software Defined Networks (SDN)

    6G - quadruple space, Metaverse, AR, VR .
              Mansfield News-Journal Thursday, April 18, 1963 p20

    Radio waves are an integral part of modern technology, used for a variety of purposes such as broadcasting, radar navigation, weather forecasting, satellite communication, wireless computer networks, and more. Devices like televisions, microwaves, GPS systems, printers, x-ray devices, and cell phones all rely on radio waves to function. Additionally, radio waves are used for everyday tasks such as internet browsing, streaming video and audio, and making voice calls over Wi-Fi networks.

    On June 6, 2022, the Government of Canada launches a consultation on making more spectrum available for high-quality wireless services- the expected mmWave bands' range are(26, 28, and 38 GHz) and will support mobile 5G services - – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

    Critical Question 1: How much connectivity is safe connectivity?

    One of the most contentious issues surrounding 5G technology is the potential health and environmental risks posed by exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMF). The Debate continues as to whether such exposure could be detrimental to human health and the environment.

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency (RF) EMF as 'possibly carcinogenic to human's in 2019

    EU Overall Cancer Evaluation (EU-Health impact of 5G, 2021) FR1 (450 to 6000 MHz): these FR1 frequencies are probably carcinogenic to humans. FR2 (24 to 100 GHz): since 5G mmwave spectrum adoption is fairly new to telcos no adequate studies were performed on these types of higher frequencies.

    Further EU research review on Environmental impacts of 5G, 2021 publication recorded no adequate experimental conclusion to the adverse effect of dielectric heating caused by Radio Frequency Fields (RF-EMF) exposure to non-human invertebrates and plants in frequency bands range(0.4-300 GHz). While research on the health and environmental impact of new millimeter-wave is still ongoing it is critical to Implement Guidelines for measuring the safety levels and ensure precautionary measures be implemented to evaluate and control exposure to Radio Frequency Fields.

    Integration and interoperability of 5G technology into Operational Technologies, communication, and other service infrastructure might acquire new vulnerabilities. It is agreeable that Sharing of Data, information, and other electronic resources have become part of our daily lives, from sending emails to voice calls, video conferencing, Location navigation, e-shopping, telehealth services, remote surveillance, traffic management, and Perhaps the projected use for 5G for Remote surgery, Drone delivery and other workload enabled by 5G network service, which can be exploited as well as Radio Frequency hazard as exploited by 5G if not regulated by different ISO's, Govt, health authorities, stakeholders and other standard organizations to ensure security and safety of IoT use and radio wave signal transmission.

    Telecommunication, Governance, and 5G Jurisdictions

    5G will facilitate the convergence of telecommunication across sectors, and create a global-wide ecosystem. (5G PPP Architecture White Paper by 5G Infrastructure Association, 2021)

    The 5G landscape and its provisioning are frequently redefined to improve digital trust, supply chain demands, and global ethics in the Telecom Landscape, and its Ecosystem, which is foundationally based on 5G speed- (low-latency), bandwidth, reliability, and capacity.

    Regulation, mandate, and policies often defer from geo jurisdictions; - Recently The Five Eyes intelligence alliance comprising; Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States banned 5G Telecom Company Huawei and ZTE products as well as services due to concerns of security risks.

    Why Canada is banning Huawei from participating in Canada's 5G network

    CTVNews remove preview
    Why Canada is banning Huawei from participating in Canada's 5G network
    The federal government is banning China's Huawei Technologies from involvement in Canada's 5G wireless network. Huawei and the Chinese government have vigorously denied accusations around the danger of spying, saying that the company poses no security threat.
    View this on CTVNews >

    The Canadian Radiocommunication Act is tasked with enforcing the rules and regulations for the use of radio frequencies, including licensing requirements, technical standards, and spectrum management. As Canada's Digital Charter affirms that all Canadians should have access and equal opportunity to participate in the digital world and the necessary tools to do so, which includes connectivity. Thus consolidation of making a higher spectrum available for vertical sectors is a necessity. Other Global Regulatory authorities such as FCC, ITU, EU, ECC, IEEE, GSMA, WHO, 3GPP, and stakeholders like 5G Service Providers, 5G Developer, 5G Operators, Palo Alto, Huawei, Cisco, Wi-Fi Alliance, NIST, ISED, Nokia, Bell, Dell, etc are active drivers that determine the KPI's of the 5G market and ecosystem.

    5G Considerations, Risks, and Limitations

    The 5G infrastructure, investment, and adoption have yet to reach its full maturity stage of Mass adoption and Experiential living. 5G system models will require step by step approach through the planning, deployment, testing, and commercialization phases. The United States is one of the active countries in 5G deployment, other key players include China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. also notes that these countries are leading the way in terms of 5G infrastructure investment and adoption. According to (EU- 5G Deployment, State of Play in Europe, USA and Asia).

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently issued new rules that implement the Bipartisan Secure Equipment Act of 2021, banning equipment authorizations from some country's telecommunications and video surveillance equipment deemed to pose a threat to national security. (FCC WASHINGTON, November 25, 2022), These regulations and sanctions will impact economic cooperation across digital worlds.

    5G Risks: 5G networks can bring enormous benefit aside from capacity and coverage, 5G technology also come with risks such as interoperability with new technologies, data privacy, network interference, and regulatory issues. Data privacy is a major concern due to the large amounts of data that can be transmitted and stored. Health and environmental risks may arise from the impact of higher frequency radio waves used by 5G networks. Network congestion can occur due to the increased number of users and devices connected to the network. Regulatory issues may arise due to different regulations in different countries.

    5G Considerations: 5G networks will facilitate increased speed and capacity, but require a significant investment in infrastructure and are still in the early stages of deployment. and also due to 5G's new features and components complexity issues may require more assessment.

    5G Limitations:
    The current 5G network capacity worldwide, based on low and mid-band spectrum, will not be sufficient to satisfy the demand for 5G services by 2030. (GSMA Vision 2030: mmWave Spectrum Needs)

    5G deployment will offer a better quality of service and greater reliability than older generations, but they also come with some unique limitations. These include range limitation and bandwidth limitation, compatibility issues, maintenance, performance requirements, installation requirements, and upgrade requirements as well as cost.

    Assessing 5G Technological risks for the environment and health is a mandatory requirement, Although 5G guarantees low latency and high performance 5G might require autonomous regulation and Security of Network Infrastructure. - (EU memo on the Impact of 5G on Health)

    CYBERSECURITY AND 5G Convergence

    The convergence of 5G and Cybersecurity is focused on the standardization of Security posture to mitigate technical risks, and enhance trust and resiliency in the 5G Ecosystem and 5G Technology profiles including its (5G Core, 5G-RAN, and Data Assets)

    Furthermore, 5G will enhance carrier aggregation, with increased speed, reliability, and data capacity, hence the greater need for robust security measures to protect data and networks from disruption, disabling, destruction, and system manipulation by malicious actors, which will call for security assessment tailored to specific security and performance requirements of 5G new features and services.

    NIST Special Publication(1800- 33B) lists two major security categories: Infrastructure security and 5G-SA (stand-alone). and The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) highlighted the 5G Standalone Security subcategory which includes; Subscriber Security and Privacy, Core Network Security, RAN Security, and Privacy, Roaming Security, Network Slicing, Virtualization, and Authentication.

    ENISA 5G Supplement highlighted 8 Domains for 5G Profile Security Measures D1: Governance and risk management (Information security policy)  D2: Human resources security   D3: Security of systems and facilities   D4: Operations management   D5: Incident management   D6: Business continuity management   D7: Monitoring, auditing, and testing  D8: Threat awareness

    CISA 5G Security Evaluation Process Investigation publication proposed a five-step 5G Security Evaluation Process to help to identify relevant threat frameworks in 5G systems
    Step 1: Define the Federal 5G Use Case
    Step 2: Identify the Assessment Boundary
    Step 3: Identify Security Requirements
    Step 4: Map Security Requirements to Federal Guidance and Industry Specifications
    Step 5: Assess Security Guidance Gaps

    The selection and implementation of 5G security, must adhere to authorized safety and security standards while Prioritizing security risks and facilitating Quality of service(QoS).

    Due to the heavy reliance on technology demands in vertical sectors, the indication that reliability and consistency are critical, as any form of disruption or interruption or failure in any of them could result in economic hardship, loss of essential services, and a loss of safety - (WEF Cybersecurity Nov 2022)

    5G Used Cases

    Three major 5G Rollout used case includes
    1. Massive machine to machine communications(mMTC) – entertainment & IoTs.
    2. Ultra-reliable low latency communications (uRLLC)– real-time control of devices i.e industrial robotics, vehicle2vehicle communications, etc.
    3. Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) – ultra-fast data speed and greater capacity.

    Other sub-used cases:-

    Smart traffic management can reduce time stuck in traffic by 10% This can lead to Annual productivity gain of up to $535M In Montreal and $270M In Vancouver. by (Accenture Strategy ACCELERATING 5G IN CANADA)

    AT&T: Developing 5G networks and services.
    DELL-OTEL: Providing cloud-based solutions for the hospitality industry.
    Torode: Developing a mobile app for the FIFA World Cup
    Huawei: Developing 5G infrastructure and devices
    Google Cloud: 5G edge computing

    According to 5G AA, the cellular Vechicle-to-Everything C-V2X is fundamental to IoV technology development and the C-V2X Protocol stack for security and safety on 3 major layers Message layer, the network layer, and the Radio Acces layer. (C-V2X standardisation in China by 5G AA)

    1. Smart City Applications: 5G technology can be used to enable smart city,  applications such as traffic management, public safety, and energy management.
    2. Connected Vehicles: 5G technology can be used to enable connected vehicles, allowing for improved safety and efficiency.
    3. Industrial Automation: 5G technology can be used to enable industrial automation, allowing for improved productivity and cost savings.
    4. Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality: 5G technology can be used to enable augmented reality and virtual reality applications, allowing for improved user experiences. 5. Healthcare: 5G technology can be used to enable healthcare applications, allowing for improved patient care and remote monitoring.
    6. Education: 5G technology can be used to enable educational applications, allowing for improved access to learning materials and resources.

    5G Projection:
    5G-connected vehicles are estimated at $69 billion by 2026 (WEF, 5G Outlook Series: Enabling Inclusive Long-term Opportunities 2021). Improvements in the 5G network service band are reviewed, as the Electronic Communication Committee (ECC) identifies the need to develop an ECC Recommendation on measures to address interference issues used by mobile/fixed communication networks (MFCN). (ECC, CEPT Recommendation, Nov 2022)

    As Technology innovation continues to grow at an exponential rate the 5th Generation network technology aims to prioritize service solutions, by providing ultra dual connectivity that will create business opportunities and boost socioeconomic operations and support other future technologies like AI, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, quantum computing, etc as well as to drive mission-critical services response and thus helping to close digital divides.

    This article has combined research from published 5G and Broadband materials from trusted standard sources ITU-R, EU, WRC-23, ENISA-5G Supplements, ECC-CEPT, Dell OTEL, GSMA, IEEE, World Economic Forum, CISA-5G Security Evaluation Process Investigation publication, CDMA, NIST 1800 -33B, and ISED Canada. This Publication does not endorse any views expressed or validate any Outcome and Techniques implemented, lastly This article is subjected to update derived from new findings.

    David Olugbenga
    Cybersecurity Analyst