Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Effects of Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields: Thirty years of research

The preponderance of research published from 1990 through July 2023 has found significant effects from exposure to radio frequency radiation as well as to extremely low frequency and static electromagnetic fields. 

Dr. Henry Lai, Professor Emeritus at the University of WashingtonEditor Emeritus of the journal, Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, and an emeritus member of the International Commission on the Biological Effects of EMF, has compiled summaries of the research on the biological effects of exposure to radio frequency (RFR) and extremely low frequency (ELF) and static electromagnetic fields (EMF). His set of abstracts which cover the period from 1990 to July 2023 constitute a comprehensive collection of the research.

Dr. Lai reports that the preponderance of the research has found that exposure to RFR or ELF EMF produces oxidative effects or free radicals, and damages DNA. Moreover the preponderance of RFR studies that examined genetic, neurological and reproductive effects has found significant effects. Among hundreds of studies of RFR, 70% to 89% reported significant effects. Among hundreds of studies of ELF and static fields, 74% to 91% reported significant effects.

Currently, there are about 2,500 studies in Dr. Henry Lai's collection of research on the effects of exposure to RFR and static or ELF/static fields EMF. The abstracts for these studies can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.

Government and scientists who receive industry funding for their research often claim that research on the effects of exposure to EMF is inconsistent, and that more research is needed before health warnings are issued or regulatory exposure limits are strengthened.

In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization classified radio frequency radiation (RFR) “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B). The IARC plans to review RFR again by 2024 because most peer-reviewed studies published in the past decade found significant evidence that RFR causes genotoxicity. Thus, the IARC will likely re-classify RFR to either "probably carcinogenic to humans" (Group 2A) or "carcinogenic to humans" (Group 1) at the next expert review.

Cell phones and other wireless devices also produce static and extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields. ELF was classified by the IARC as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B) a decade before RFR received this classification.

The evidence for DNA damage has been found more consistently in animal and human (in vivo) studies than in studies of cell cultures (in vitro).

Summary of Results (July 2023)

Radio frequency radiation (RFR)

89% (n=297) of 333 RFR oxidative effects (or free radical) studies published since 1997 reported significant effects including 96% (n=89) of 92 studies with a SAR (specific absorption rate)  ≤ 0.40 W/kg.

70% (n=312) of 448 RFR genetic effects studies 
published since 1990 reported significant effects including 79% (n=103) of 131 studies of gene expression.

76% (n=322) of 423 RFR neurological studies published since 2007 reported significant effects.

82% (n=262) of 317 RFR reproduction and development studies published since 1990 reported significant effects. Among the studies that reported significant effects, 51 studies used an exposure with a SAR  0.40 W/kg and 31 studies had a SAR   0.08 W/kg.

Extremely low frequency (ELF) and static electromagnetic fields

91% (n=282) of 311 ELF/static EMF oxidative effects (or free radical) studies published since 1990 reported significant effects.

84% (n=282) of 337 ELF/static EMF genetic effects studies published since 1990 reported significant effects including 95% (n=168) of 177 studies of gene expression.

91% (n=310) of 339 
ELF/static EMF neurological studies published since 2007 reported significant effects.

74% (n=62) of 83 ELF/static EMF reproduction and development studies published since 1990 reported significant effects. 

Links to download each set of abstracts

   RFR = radio frequency electromagnetic fields
   ELF = extremely low frequency or static electromagnetic fields


Feb 4, 2023 (Updated Aug 4, 2023)

Effects of Radio Frequency Radiation Exposure on Free Radical-Related Cellular Processes (290 studies)

Dr. Henry Lai, Professor Emeritus, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington

This document contains abstracts for 332 studies published since 1997 that assessed the effects of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) exposure on free radical-related cellular processes.

See pages 180-207 for the Table that summarizes key details about each study.


1. Of the 332 studies published from 1997- August, 2023, 297 (89%) studies reported significant effects; 36 (11%) studies found no significant effects.

2. Change in cellular free radical status is a consistent effect of radiofrequency radiation.

3. Effects can occur at low specific absorption rates (SAR) or power density of exposure. See 82 studies marked LI for low intensity (less than or equal to 0.4 W/kg); 79 LI studies found effects.

4. Effects have been reported at different frequencies, exposure duration, and modulations, and in many different biological systems, cell lines, and animal species. These data support the assertion that “Radiofrequency radiation affects cellular free radical processes.”

5. Most of the studies are live animal (in vivo) studies with long-term exposure, e.g., daily exposure up to months.

6. Some studies used mobile phones or RFR-emitting devices for exposure (see Table). The SAR and characteristics of RFR in these studies are not well defined. However, these studies should not be overlooked because they represent real-life exposure scenarios. Waveform modulations of radiofrequency radiation during wireless communication usage probably play an important role in biological effects. They are not revealed in studies that used a simple form of radiation (e.g., continuous-wave or GSM) and spatially uniformed fields. Researchers in bioelectromagnetics should realize that the perfect RFR exposure system simulating real life exposures simply does not exist.

Click on the following link to download the 207-page document (pdf): Link

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Key Cell Phone Radiation Research Studies

Note: This is not a comprehensive list. I have focused on more recent papers and tried to be parsimonious. The links to the abstracts and open access papers below were checked and updated on June 7, 2019.  This list is periodically updated.

Tumor risk review papers

   Myung et al (2009) Mobile phone use and risk of tumors: a meta-analysis. J Clinical Oncologyhttp://bit.ly/2F0IdUS
   Khurana et al (2009) Cell phones and brain tumors: a review including long-term epidemiologic data. Surgical Neurologyhttp://bit.ly/2WTQwfk
   Levis et al (2011) Mobile phones and head tumours: the discrepancies in cause-effect relationships in the epi studies-how do they arise. Environ Healthhttp://bit.ly/2IsQy4r
   Levis et al (2012) Mobile phones and head tumours: a critical analysis of case-control epi studies. Open Environ Scienceshttp://bit.ly/2EXT5ml
   WHO (2013) IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Volume 102: Non-ionizing radiation, Part 2: Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. http://bit.ly/10oIE3o
   Morgan et al (2015) Mobile phone radiation causes brain tumors and should be classified as a probable human carcinogen (2A) (Review). Int J Oncologyhttp://bit.ly/2XwgVNa
   Wang & Guo (2016) Meta-analysis of association between mobile phone use and glioma risk. J Cancer Research Therapy http://bit.ly/2o1dVcn
   Bortkiewicz et al (2017) Mobile phone use and risk of intracranial tumors and salivary gland tumors - A meta-analysis. Int J Occ Med Envir Healthhttp://bit.ly/2nVJC5d
   Prasad et al (2017) Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours: a systematic review of association between study quality, source of funding, and research outcomes. Neurol Scihttp://bit.ly/2Xxp83P
   Carlberg, Hardell (2017) Evaluation of mobile phone and cordless phone use and glioma risk using the Bradford Hill viewpoints from 1965 on association or causation. Biomed Res Inthttp://bit.ly/2WwBX1K

   Miller, et al (2018). Cancer epidemiology update, following the 2011 IARC evaluation of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (Monograph 102). Environ Reshttp://bit.ly/2rJD7Fu
Choi, Moskowitz, et al (2020). Cellular phone use and risk of tumors: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Envir Res Public Health. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218079.

Tumor risk studies

   Interphone Study Group (2010) Brain tumour risk in relation to mobile phone use: results of the Interphone international case-control study. Int J Epidemiolhttp://bit.ly/2MzsceR
   Interphone Study Group (2011) Acoustic neuroma risk in relation to mobile telephone use: results of the INTERPHONE international case-control study. Cancer Epidemiolhttp://bit.ly/2Ix7BlQ
   Aydin et al (2011) Mobile phone use & brain tumors in children & adolescents: a multi-center case-control study. (CEFALO Study). JNCIhttp://bit.ly/31j0JBa
   Hardell et al (2013) Case-control study of the association between malignant brain tumours diagnosed between 2007 and 2009 and mobile and cordless phone use. Int J Oncologyhttp://bit.ly/2ZaVJg5
   Hardell et al (2013) Pooled analysis of case-control studies on acoustic neuroma diagnosed 1997-2003 and 2007-2009 and use of mobile and cordless phones. Int J Oncologyhttp://bit.ly/31gbDaO
   Coureau et al (2014)  Mobile phone use and brain tumours in the CERENAT case-control study. Occup Envi Medhttp://bit.ly/1DWgzRi
   Grell et al (2016) The intracranial distribution of gliomas in relation to exposure from mobile phones: Analyses from the INTERPHONE Study. Am J Epidemiolhttp://bit.ly/2ZcawHu

Breast cancer

   West et al (2013) Multifocal breast cancer in young women with prolonged contact between their breasts and their cellular phones. Case Rep Med. http://bit.ly/2WW8n52
   Shih et al (2020) The association between smartphone use and breast cancer risk among Taiwanese women: A case-control study. Cancer Manag Res. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7605549/

Brain tumor incidence trends

   Inskip et al (2010) Brain cancer incidence trends in relation to cellular telephone use in the United States. Neuro Oncologyhttp://bit.ly/2K6rEuz
   Zada et al (2012) Incidence trends in the anatomic location of primary malignant brain tumors in the United States: 1992-2006. World Neurosurg. http://bit.ly/2Wq1Dbm
   Hardell & Carlberg (2015) Increasing rates of brain tumours in the Swedish National Inpatient Register & the Causes of Death Register. Int J Envir Res Public Healthhttp://bit.ly/1aDHJm
   Devocht (2016) Inferring the 1985–2014 impact of mobile phone use on selected brain cancer subtypes using Bayesian structural time series and synthetic controls. Environ Inthttp://bit.ly/2jJlbZu      corrigendum (2017): http://bit.ly/2Cuq2nU
   Hardell & Carlberg (2017) Mobile phones, cordless phones and rates of brain tumors in different age groups in the Swedish National Inpatient Register and the Swedish Cancer Register during 1998-2015. PLOS Onehttp://bit.ly/H-C2017
  Philips et al (2018) Brain tumours: Rise in Glioblastoma Multiforme incidence in England 1995-2015 suggests an adverse environmental or lifestyle factor. J Environ Public Health. http://bit.ly/2KIY4aI

    Also see: Brain Tumor Rates Are Rising in the US: The Role of Cell Phone & Cordless Phone Use


   Ruediger (2009) Genotoxic effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Pathophysiology. http://bit.ly/2EXGaRb 
   Behari (2010) Biological responses of mobile phone frequency exposure. Indian J Exp Biologyhttp://bit.ly/2Xx0Gzr 
   Giuliani and Soffritti (2010). Nonthermal effects and mechanisms of interaction between electromagnetic fields and living matter. ICEMS Monograph. Ramazzini Institute. 403 pp. http://bit.ly/2HUnO7R
   Juutilainen et al (2011) Review of possible modulation-dependent biological effects of radiofrequency fields. Bioelectromagneticshttp://bit.ly/2MAQ7KJ
   Volkow et al (2011) Effects of cell phone radiofrequency signal exposure on brain glucose metabolism. JAMAhttp://bit.ly/2KyjIBT
   Pall (2013) EMFs act via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels to produce beneficial or adverse effects. J Cell Mol Medhttp://bit.ly/2K5yO2e
   Calderon et al (2014) Assessment of extremely low frequency magnetic field exposure from GSM mobile phones. Bioelectromagnetics. http://bit.ly/2EA1N7e
   Dasdag & Akdag (2015) The link between radiofrequencies emitted from wireless technologies & oxidative stress. J Chem Neuroanathttp://bit.ly/2EXN88W
   Yakymenko et al (2016) Oxidative mechanisms of biological activity of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation. Electromagnet Biol Medhttp://bit.ly/2qCGM4F
   Barnes & Greenenbaum (2016) Some effects of weak magnetic fields on biological systems: RF fields can change radical concentrations and cancer cell growth rates. IEEE Power Electronics Jhttp://bit.ly/1WvQGiY
   Tamrin et al (2016)  Electromagnetic fields and stem cell fate: When physics meets biology. Rev Physiol Biochem Pharmacolhttp://bit.ly/2b6Ht3y
   Terzi et al (2016) The role of electromagnetic fields in neurological disorders. J Chem Neuroanathttps://bit.ly/3j9if6b 
   Havas (2017) When theory and observation collide: Can non-ionizing radiation cause cancer? Environ Pollutionhttp://bit.ly/2DssMS2
   Barnes & Kandala (2018) Effects of time delays on biological feedback systems and electromagnetic field exposures. Bioelectromagneticshttp://bit.ly/2EZkZPS
  Belpomme et al (2018) Thermal and non-thermal health effects of low intensity non-ionizing radiation: An international perspective. Environ Pollutionhttp://bit.ly/IntlEMFreview
  Hinrikus et al (2018) Understanding physical mechanism of low-level microwave radiation effect. Int J Radiation Biolhttp://bit.ly/2EwNyoU
  Mortazavi et al (2019) Evaluation of the validity of a nonlinear J-shaped dose-response relationship in cancers induced by exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. J Biomed Phys Enghttp://bit.ly/37FlDxP
  Nielsen et al (2019) Towards predicting intracellular radiofrequency radiation effects. PLOS Onehttp://bit.ly/2uaeFxY
  Panagopoulos (2019) Comparing DNA damage induced by mobile telephony and other types of man-made electromagnetic fields. Mutation Reshttp://bit.ly/2HACI1O
  Halgamuge et al (2020) A meta-analysis of in vitro exposures to weak radiofrequency radiation exposure from mobile phones (1990–2015). Envir Reshttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.109227.
  Bertagna et al (2021) Effects of electromagnetic fields on neuronal ion channels: a systematic review. Annals of the New York Academy of Scienceshttps://bit.ly/2R3TigS
  Panagopoulos et al (2021) Human‑made electromagnetic fields: Ion forced‑oscillation and voltage‑gated ion channel dysfunction, oxidative stress and DNA damage (Review). Int J Oncolhttps://www.spandidos-publications.com/ijo/59/5/92  
  Lai H, Levitt B. (2023) Cellular and molecular effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields. Reviews on Environmental Healthhttps://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2023-0023

Reproductive Health Effects

   LaVignera et al (2011) Effects of the exposure to mobile phones on male reproduction: a review of the literature. J Andrologyhttp://bit.ly/2wL7zRO
   Aldad et al (2012) Fetal radiofrequency radiation exposure from 800-1900 Mhz-rated cellular telephones affects neurodevelopment and behavior in mice. Science Reportshttp://bit.ly/2Z6H45I
   Divan et al (2012) Cell phone use and behavioural problems in young children. J Epidemiol Commun Healthhttp://bit.ly/2EV1bw8
   Adams et al (2014) Effect of mobile telephones on sperm quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Reproductionhttp://bit.ly/1pUnmDq
   Houston et al (2016) The effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation on sperm function. Reproductionhttp://bit.ly/2cJJ2pE
   Kim et al (2021) Effects of mobile phone usage on sperm quality – No time-dependent relationship on usage: A systematic review and updated meta-analysis. Environ Researchhttps://bit.ly/3squsu2 
   Kaur et al (2023) Genotoxic risks to male reproductive health from radiofrequency radiation. Cellshttps://bit.ly/3PbbIaU
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

    See: Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity


   Kelsh et al (2010) Measured radiofrequency exposure during various mobile-phone use scenarios. J Exposure Sci Environ Epidemiolhttp://bit.ly/2IuYH8s
   Gandhi et al (2012) Exposure limits: the underestimation of absorbed cell phone radiation, especially in children. Electromagnetic Biol Medhttp://bit.ly/2EZilbN
    International EMF Scientist Appeal (2015).  https://emfscientist.org/
    International Appeal: Scientists call for protection from non-ionizing electromagnetic field exposure. European J Oncology. 20(3/4). 2015. http://bit.ly/EMFAppealEurOncol   
    Schmid & Kuster (2015) The discrepancy between maximum in vitro exposure levels and realistic conservative exposure levels of mobile phones operating at 900/1800 MHz. Bioelectromagnetics. http://bit.ly/31j46be
   Sagar et al (2018) Comparison of radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure levels in different everyday microenvironments in an international context. Environ Intl. http://bit.ly/2E5QR10
  Gandhi OP (2019) Microwave emissions from cell phones exceed safety limits in Europe and the US when touching the body. IEEE Accesshttp://bit.ly/2QUTI4N
  Wall et al (2019) Real-world cell phone radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposures. Environ Researchhttps://bit.ly/CDPHphone  
  Calderón et al (2022) Estimation of RF and ELF dose by anatomical location in the brain from wireless phones in the MOBI-Kids study. Environ Intlhttps://bit.ly/3Or2x3F
    Lai H, Levitt BB (2022). The roles of intensity, exposure duration, and modulation on the biological effects of radiofrequency radiation and exposure guidelines. Electromagnetic Biol Medhttps://bit.ly/RFLaiLevitt2022
   ICBE-EMF (2022). Scientific evidence invalidates health assumptions underlying the FCC and ICNIRP exposure limit determinations for radiofrequency radiation: implications for 5G. Environ Healthhttps://bit.ly/ICBE-EMFpaper1
   Lin J (2023). Incongruities in recently revised radiofrequency exposure guidelines and standards. Environ Researchhttps://bit.ly/3lijiUP
  Miclaus et al (2023). An Exposimetric Electromagnetic Comparison of Mobile Phone Emissions: 5G versus 4G Signals Analyses by Means of Statistics and Convolutional Neural Networks Classification. Technologieshttps://bit.ly/3ParNO5

Genetic Effects

  Lai H (2021) Genetic effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields. Electromagnetic Biol Medhttps://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15368378.2021.1881866
    Huss et al  (2007) Source of funding and results of studies of health effects of mobile phone use: systematic review of experimental studies. Environ Health Perspechttp://bit.ly/2wBEmYp
    Fragopoulou et al (2010) Scientific panel on electromagnetic field health risks: consensus points, recommendations, and rationales. Rev Environ Healthhttp://bit.ly/2tWiXHP
    Alster, N (2015) Captured agency: How the FCC is dominated by the industries it presumably regulates. Harvard University. http://bit.ly/FCCcaptured
    Consumer Reports (2015) "Does cell-phone radiation cause cancer?" http://bit.ly/CRoncellphoneradiation
    Kostoff R, Lau C (2017). Modified health effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation combined with other agents reported in the biomedical literature. In C.D. Geddes (ed.), Microwave Effects on DNA and Proteins. http://b.gatech.edu/2uyMAz0
   Bandara P, Carpenter DO (2018). Planetary electromagnetic pollution: it is time to assess its impact. The Lancet Planetary Healthhttp://bit.ly/2GqpJQF
   Foerster et al (2018). A prospective cohort study of adolescents' memory performance and individual brain dose of microwave radiation from wireless communication. Environ Health Perspecthttp://bit.ly/2wJs0Pm
   Hertsgaard, M, Dowie, M (2018). "How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe: A Special Investigation." The Nation, March 29, 2018. http://bit.ly/BigWireless
   Miller et al (2019). Risks to health and well-being from radio-frequency radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices. Front Public Health. http://bit.ly/2TsUNlN
  Kostoff et al (2020). Adverse health effects of 5G mobile networking technology under real-life conditions. Toxicology Lettershttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31991167/
    Hardell & Carlberg (2021). Lost opportunities for cancer prevention: historical evidence on early warnings with emphasis on radiofrequency radiation. Rev Envir Reshttp://bit.ly/Hardell2021
   Grigoriev YG (2022). Frequencies used in Telecommunications – An Integrated Radiobiological Assessment (ORSAA translation; free 198 page book). https://bit.ly/GrigorievBook
   Ishai et al (2023). Problems in evaluating the health impacts of radio frequency radiation. Envir Reshttps://bit.ly/Ishai2023
   Nyberg et al (2023). The European Union assessments of radiofrequency radiation health risks – another hard nut to crack (Review). Rev Environ Health.  https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2023-0046

Also see: 

Effects of Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (studies published from 1990 on)

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

5G Wireless Technology: Cutting Through the Hype

See the bottom of this page for links to recent news stories about 5G hype.

The CTIA, the wireless industry trade association, has launched an advertising campaign entitled, "The Global Race to 5G." The ads claim that unless the U.S. wins this "global race" to become the first nation to deploy the fifth generation of wireless technology or 5G, we will not reap the economic benefits of this technology. 

The CTIA claims that "compared to today's 4G networks, 5G will be up to 100x faster, support 100x more devices, and provide a 5x faster response time." Moreover, the association asserts that the nation's wireless industry is prepared to invest $275 billion in 5G which will yield three million new jobs and $500 billion in economic growth. If we win the global race, the "next-generation of wireless will drive $2.7 trillion of new economic benefits to American families and businesses."

The CTIA has denied for decades that there are adverse health effects from exposure to wireless radiation. By establishing a revolving door between its leadership and the FCC's, the CTIA ensures that the federal regulatory agency maintains the inadequate, obsolete radio frequency exposure limits which the FCC adopted in 1996.

The FCC and federal health agencies have been oblivious to the health concerns raised by more than 240 scientists from 44 nations who have published peer-reviewed research on the biologic or health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields.

More than 400 scientists and medical doctors from over 40 countries signed a declaration demanding a moratorium on the planned increase of cell antennas for 5G deployment in the European Union. Concerns over health effects from higher radiation exposure include potential neurological impacts, infertility, and cancer.

The following excerpts were extracted from a 23-page special report from RCR Wireless that cuts through much of the hype surrounding the deployment of 5G. The excerpts are direct quotes from the report. RCR Wireless is a trade publication that has reported on the wireless industry and wireless technology since 1982.

Transitioning to a 5G World

Kelly Hill, RCR Wireless, Nov 2017

Excerpts from the Report
Hype is certainly high for 5G, given that the industry is still technically in a pre-standard phase and that standalone 5G systems are still some time off.
5G is coming even faster than originally expected. In December, the first official specification from the Third Generation Partnership Project is expected to be released; 5G New Radio will finally make its standardized debut – although like Long Term Evolution, 5G will continue to evolve and be refined in the coming years.
“5G will not replace LTE,” Rysavy Research concluded in an August report for the GSMA. “In most deployments, the two technologies will be tightly integrated and co-exist through at least the late-2020s.”
Although the industry is preparing for 5G, LTE [4G] capabilities will continue to improve in LTE Advanced Pro through the rest of the decade,”  Rysavy wrote .... 5G will eventually play an important role, but it must be timed appropriately so that the jump in capability justifies the new investment.
KT, for example, plans to support two different frequencies from the get-go in its 5G network: 3.5 GHz as an anchor with better propagation, complemented by 28 GHz in dense areas. Given that networks are expected to initially be 4G/5G networks, testing will have to continue to support LTE alongside 5G.
Hurtarte of LitePoint noted that although “millimeter wave” tends to be treated as one category, there are significant differences between the components and frequency planning needed at 28 GHz versus 39 GHz. In addition, although some frequencies are widely agreed upon, there are other frequencies that may get the nod for 5G use: 24 GHz in China, possibly 40-43 Ghz and possibly even above 70 GHz.
There are some major challenges to the success of 5G, which are all interrelated: the move to mmwave, the need for ultra-density, and the question of when the economics of 5G will actually work well enough to take off.
Mmwave [millimeter wave] provides the huge bandwidths that are needed for fast speeds and high capacity, but the higher the frequency, the shorter its range and more susceptible it is to being easily blocked and reflected (thus the need for beamforming in order to focus the energy more tightly). Seasonal foliage, energy efficient glass windows with special coatings, and standard housing materials all present effective barriers to mmwave reaching indoors to customer premise equipment, operators and vendors have found in their field testing.
Denisowski pointed out that fixed wireless is one thing, but moving objects are another. Obstruction, not radiating sources of energy, is likely to be the main cause of interference in 5G systems: vehicles driving back and forth, or even wind farms can scatter microwave radiation.
Density of foliage “plays a big role,” said Thadasina of Samsung, which has been working with a number of carriers on 5G trials. “What we found is that for the mmwave signal, as it penetrated through trees, the thickness of the trees matters. Initially the impedence offered by foliage is linear, but beyond a certain density it is no longer linear … it kills the signal.” Building materials are well-known to play a role in transmission from outdoors to indoors, he added, but the angle of incidence does as well. The difference between 30 degrees to 60 degrees to 90 degrees can create additional impedance, Thadasina said, “some of those things make it challenging in terms of closing the link.” Moisture levels play a role as well, he said ....
Fiber is fuel for 5G, and its prevalence is increasing. SNL Kagan found earlier this year that global fiber residential investment increased sharply in 2016, and that fiber is on track to reach 1 billion subscribers by 2021. Meanwhile, in the U.S., Vertical Systems Group reported that 49.6% of multi-tenant and enterprise buildings had access to fiber last year, compared to only 10% in 2004.

Deloitte said earlier this year that it expects to see $130 billion-$150 billion in “deep fiber” investment in the U.S. over 5-7 years, due to a combination of broadband competition, ensuring 5G readiness, and expanding fiber into new areas.

Murphy of Nokia said that operators should expect that, depending on which frequency they deploy in, they will need 2.5 to 10 times as many sites as they have now. That’s a tall order, especially given that small cell sites in cellular frequencies can take 18 to 24 months to get site approvals – scaling small cells has been hard enough in LTE, with the market moving much more slowly than analysts had predicted or carriers would like.
“It’s going to take a long time,” Einbinder said. “Constructing a cell tower is hard. A micro-cell has a lot of the same issues”: power and fiber and access to a site, which a community may be reluctant to grant – California, for instance, recently rejected a measure passed at the state level that would have streamlined processes for small cells.
... Einbinder thinks that some communities will take initiative and want to be 5G economic centers. While that’s encouraging for operators, it may also mean that 5G coverage maps look very different from the familiar red, blue, yellow and magenta maps indicating nationwide coverage. “The resulting coverage maps might have a lot more to do with [communities] than any economic or technological drivers – it’s going to be driven by local preference.”
While early work estimated that as many as 40 to 50 homes could be covered by a single fixed wireless site, according to Rouault of EXFO, that number has turned out to be around five in testing because of the complexity of beamforming necessary to support multiple homes. “It’s not at the point we would say the verdict is out,” Rouault added. “The technology is proven to work, but to make the business case work, the scale is the problem right now.”
So the biggest question is where a breakthrough is going to happen that becomes the point at which 5G becomes a more attractive investment than LTE. “What can 5G do that other systems can’t? This is where there is no clear answer,” said Hemant Minocha, EVP for device and IoT at TEOCO. There is no 5G requirement for IoT [Internet of Things], he points out, and the business case hasn’t yet been proven out for ultra-low latency (not to  mention that LTE is capable of lower latency than it has achieved to this point in networks).
Key Takeaways:
• The industry is moving quickly toward 5G, with momentum in testing and trials. The first official 5G specification from 3GPP is expected in December, with a protocol-focused release coming in the spring of 2018.
• Many features and architectures in LTE, particularly gigabit LTE, will both underpin future 5G networks and provide lessons learned in making 5G systems work. These include dense fiber deployment, higher-order and massive MIMO, network slicing, virtualization, and mobile edge computing.
• The biggest challenge for 5G lies in a millimeter-wave based RAN, with significant challenges ahead for designing and deploying a workable, optimized and profitable mmwave network on a large scale.
The RCR Wireless report, "Transitioning to a 5G World," can be downloaded at https://exfoprodstorage.blob.core.windows.net/media/6431/report_rcrwireless_5g-optimization_nov-2017.pdf.

Mike Dano, Light Reading, Jul 24, 2023

5G was an overhyped technology bust. Let’s learn our lesson.
Shira Ovide, Washington Post, June 13, 2023

After 5G hangover, there's not much telco love for 6G
Iain Morris, Light Reading, Apr 26, 2023

Bob Frankston, CircleID, Apr 14, 2023

How 5G disappointed 'pretty much everybody'
Tech Xplore, Feb 28, 2023

Doug Dawson, Pots and Pans, Jan 24, 2023

An F for the Gs: 5G discontent surfaces for 2023
Ian Scales, Telecom TV, Jan 19, 2023

Is 5G worth it? Consumer hype is over, and carriers worried, says report
Ben Lovejoy, 9 to 5 Mac, Nov 23, 2022
The 5G iPhone SE will be for carriers, not customers: Apple’s latest 5G upgrade is more marketing than mandatory. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, Mar 7, 2022

5G Has Been a $100 Billion Whiff So Far: Big telecom providers still haven’t persuaded consumers to embrace the faster system. Scott Moritz & Rob Golum, Bloomberg Businessweek, Mar 3, 2022
Why 5G is ‘less exciting’ for consumers, analyst explains
Craig Moffett, Yahoo Finance, Jan 26, 2022

CCG Consulting, POTs and PANs, Jan 19, 2022

Tara Sonenshine, The Hill, Dec 27, 2021
Matt Kapko, sdx Central, Dec 26, 2021
Andy Boxall, Digital Trends, Dec 25, 2021

Sascha Segan, PC Magazine, Oct 15, 2021

Washington Post, Sep 24, 2021

Barely anyone is using mmWave 5G in the U.S.
Pranob Mehrotra, XDA, July 15, 2021

Ernest Worthman, Above Ground Level, May 17, 2021

Dear wireless carriers: the 5G hype needs to stop
Allison Johnson, The Verge, Apr 29, 2021

Sascha Segan, PC Magazine (UK), Mar 5, 2021

Miguel Coma, Wall Street International, Jan 23, 2021

Sascha Segan, PC Magazine, Dec 22, 2020

The failure of 5G: 5G was supposed to be a revolution. So far in 2020, it’s not even been a great evolution
Vlad-Gabriel Anghel, DCD, Dec 15, 2020

U.S. vs. China in 5G: The Battle Isn’t Even Close: China is leading the way in the size and consistency of its 5G network
Dan Strumpf, Wall Street Journal, Nov 9, 2020

Poor 5G connectivity disappoints South Korean users: Over 560,000 consumers return to 4G as applications for dispute mediation rise
Sotoro Suzuki, Nikkei Asia, Nov 7, 2020

GSMArena, Nov 5, 2020

Study Finds That US 5G Speeds Are Slower Than 14 Other Countries
Jason Cohen, PC, Oct 30, 2020

Doug Dawson, CircleID, Oct 29, 2020

Why the 5G Pushiness? Because $$$. Selling 5G capability is a huge opportunity for phone companies. Be careful.
Shira Ovide, New York Times, Oct 22, 2020

JR Raphael, Computerworld, Oct 22, 2020
Shara Tibken, c|net, Oct 18, 2020

Ignore Phone Companies About 5G. The cellular networks might be life-changing in the future. Not today. 
Shira Ovide, New York Times, Oct 15, 2020

John Xie, The News Lens (Voice of America), Oct 12, 2020

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, Computerworld, Sep 17, 2020

The 5G lie: The network of the future is still slow
Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post, Sep 8, 2020

AT&T’s current 5G is slower than 4G in nearly every city tested by PCMag
Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, Sep 8,2020
Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, Jul 15, 2020

Clare Duffy, CNN, May 20, 2020

The 5G revolution has been a big fail so far
Philip Michaels, Toms Guide, May 16, 2020

Verizon’s nationwide 5G will only be a “small” upgrade over 4G at first
Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, May 13, 2020

Could 5G spell trouble for Android flagships?
J.R. Raphael, Computerworld, May 12, 2020
Mary Cuddehe, Columbia Journalism Review, Spring 2020

The 5G of T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T all rank badly for different reasons
Linda Hardesty, Fierce Wireless, Mar 3, 2020

Kevin Werbach, CNN, Feb 3, 2020

Karl Bode, TechDirt, Jan 27, 2020

Noah Kulwin, The Outline, Jan 13, 2020

Alex Sherman, Todd Hazelton, CNBC, Jan 9, 2020

Monica Alleven, Fierce Wireless, Jan 2, 2020

Eun-Young Jeong, Wall Street Journal, Dec 31, 2019

Roger Cheng, c|net, Dec 24, 2019
Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, Sep 6, 2019

Dhara Singh, c|net, Aug 14, 2019

Jeremy Horwitz, Venture Beat, Aug 7, 2019

The Downside of 5G: Overwhelmed Cities, Torn-Up Streets, a Decade Until Completion
Christopher Mims, Wall Street Journal, Jun 29, 2019

Threat Lab, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Jun 26, 2019

Karl Bode, Vice.com, Jun 14, 2019

Choosing the Wrong Lane in the Race to 5G
Jessica Rosenworcel (FCC Commissioner), Wired, Jun 10, 2019

Wait, why the hell is the ‘race to 5G’ even a race? No one has a good answer to this question.
Nilay Patel, Verge, May 23, 2019
The future of wireless technology holds the promise of total connectivity. But it will also be especially susceptible to cyberattacks and surveillance.
Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, Apr 26, 2019

Millimeter-wave 5G isn’t for widespread coverage, Verizon admits ... 5G's highest speeds will only be for select areas
Jon Brodkin, ars Technica, Apr 23, 2019

5G is still just hype for AT&T and Verizon
Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, Apr 5, 2019

Verizon 5G Home service too expensive to scale, attracts few users
Jeremy Horwitz, Venture Beat, Mar 22, 2019

What is 5G and will it live up to the hype?
Staff, The Week, Mar 17, 2019

Executives Don’t Believe the Hype Around 5G, According to Accenture Study
Patrick Kulp, Adweek, Mar 1, 2019
Ernesto Falcon, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Feb 11, 2019

Corinne Reichert, ZDNet, Feb 11, 2019
5G can't fix America's broadband problems
Don't expect the new generation of wireless tech to replace fiber.... 
Karl Bode, The Verge, Feb 6, 2019

Apple just endorsed AT&T’s fake 5G E network
Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, Feb 4, 2019

Verizon and AT&T Jumped the Gun on 5G
Sascha Segan, PC Magazine, Jan 31, 2019

Amir Nasr, Slate, Jan 30, 2019

Emily Jackson, Ottawa Citizen, Jan 24, 2019

Time to move beyond 5G hype
Tom Wheeler, Brookings, Jan 11, 2019

Beware the 5G Hype: Wireless Rivals Fuel Confusion
Drew FitzGerald, Wall Street Journal, Jan 9, 2019

Verizon and T-Mobile bash AT&T over 'fake 5G'
Marguerite Reardon, c|net, Jan 8, 2019
Isaac Mayer, Techspot, Dec 22, 2018

2018 was the year of 5G hype. The 5G reality is yet to come
Brian Fung, Washington Post, Dec 21, 2018

AT&T will put a fake 5G logo on its 4G LTE phones
Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, Dec 21, 2018

Troy Wolverton, Business Insider, Dec 14, 2018

Don’t buy a 5G smartphone—at least, not for a while
Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, Dec 14, 2018

Why 5G Hype is Out of Control This Week
Sam Rutherford, Gizmodo, Dec 7, 2018

The first ‘real world’ 5G test was a dud
Sean Hollister, The Verge, Dec 4, 2018

5G Corporate Grail: Smart cities/dumb people?  
Joyce Nelson. Watershed Sentinel, Nov 5, 2018.

Do we even need 5G at all?
Jeremy Kaplan, Digital Trends, Oct 26, 2018

Why 5G is out of reach for more people than you think
Shara Tibken, c|net, Oct 25, 2018

Volkswagen a winner as EU set to favour wifi over 5G: draft
Foo Yun Chee, Reuters, Oct 19, 2018

The 5G hype cycle is about to run into a hard truth: Subsidies needed!
Strategy Analytics, Business Wire, Oct 18, 2018
Dexter Johnson, IEEE Spectrum, Oct 11, 2018

Experts worry 5G can widen digital divide in cities
Ali Breland, The Hill, Sep 30, 2018

Why 5G will disappoint everyone
Mike Elgan, Computerworld, Sep 29, 2018

Has 5G Hype Outpaced Reality?
Kate Patrick, Government Technology, Sep 28, 2018

Rural America worries it will miss out on 5G
Ali Breland, The Hill, Sep 26, 2018

FCC angers cities and towns with $2 billion giveaway to wireless carriers
Kieren McCarthy, The Register, Sep 19, 2018

The Problem with 5G (PC Magazine censored Dvorak's article and replaced it with another article. The link is to the internet archive.)
John C. Dvorak, PC Magazine, Aug 22, 2018.

Ed Sperling, Semiconductor Engineering. Aug 22, 2018.

Jof Enriquez, RF Globalnet, June 1, 2018

The ‘Race to 5G’ Is Just Mindless Marketing Bullshit
Karl Bode, Motherboard, May 4, 2018

MWC and the 5G Hype Machine Keep on Giving, and Giving and Giving...
Ernest Worthman, AGL Media Group, Apr 19, 2018
Bruce Kushnick, Medium, Mar 8, 2018

The 5G Hype Machine Continues to Mislead
Ernest Worthman, Above Ground Level, Feb 1, 2018

Super-fast 5G wireless is coming this year, but it probably won't be cheap
David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times, Jan 9, 2018

Upgrade to 5G Costs $200 Billion a Year, May Not Be Worth It
Olga Kharif and Scott Moritz, Bloomberg, Dec 18, 2017

Impact of EMF Limits on 5G Network Rollout
Christer Tornevik, ITU Workshop on 5G, EMF and Health, Dec 5, 2017

Microwave Radiation Coming to a Lamppost near You
Merinda Teller, MPH, PhD, Weston A. Price Foundation, Dec 1, 2017

5G Is Not the Answer For Rural Broadband
Larry Thompson and Warren Vande Stadt, Broadband Communities. March/April, 2017

The Next Generation of Wireless -- "5G"-- Is All Hype
Susan Crawford, Wired, Aug 11, 2016