The difficulties in building a nationwide 5G network

Bitkom survey: Almost half of the population does not want radio masts nearby. This will delay the nationwide expansion of the 5G network.

The expansion of the new, faster and more extensive 5G mobile radio standard is still a problem. The telecommunications providers who have been able to auction frequencies in an initial bidding process have been known since last June. But apart from a few small reports of success, not much has happened. Vodafone quickly announced that the first radio masts in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Dortmund and Munich had been expanded for the 5G network. The same applies to the other large providers such as Deutsche Telekom and O2. They also started in some German cities. But even there, there will be no comprehensive signal.

48 percent against radio masts near their homes

Now, according to a representative survey by the industry association Bitkom, it is becoming even more difficult for telecommunications companies. According to the result, almost half (48 percent) of the participants are against building a radio mast in their area. Many fear the radio masts are a source of electromagnetic radiation. According to the survey, almost one in two (43 percent) would start a civil protest if radio masts were to be set up nearby. Almost as many (42 percent) say they want to move out of their apartment if the landlord has a radio antenna attached to the house.

Bitkom President Berg calls for more information

And the acceptance of 5G supporters also avoids their own apartment and property. One in five (22 percent) does not want a radio mast close to them. In contrast, at least one in three (33 percent) would be willing to make part of their property – whether house or property – available for mobile phone expansion. For Bitkom President Achim Berg, the result shows that a lot of educational work still needs to be done. “People need to be able to get their own picture of the effects of mobile communications. It is not only in Germany that too many consumers are falling for the statements made by conspiracy theorists.” The diffuse fears are unnecessary. Berg: “Thousands of scientific studies worldwide have shown that there is no health risk below the applicable limit values.”


Bitkom proposes measures for education about 5G radiation:

  • The mobile phone agreement between municipalities and network operators should continue as a cooperative approach and professional dialogue.
  • A clearly understandable and broad presentation of the facts is necessary. For this, high-profile event formats such as joint fact-clarification processes and scientific support are just as decisive factors as the communicative approach to the public. It would make sense to bundle the various offers for fact-based information on mobile communications on the Internet, for example on a common platform between the federal government, the federal states and local associations.
  • Under the direction of the federal government, a broad communication campaign should be launched to reach people in all regions and to counter dubious sources with fact-based information. Bitkom welcomes the fact that the federal government has already launched an initiative to do this.
  • On site, it is important to find cooperative solutions for new mast locations at an early stage and to enter into a professional dialogue with the local forces

Source: Bitkom


Weitere Artikel zum Thema 5G in unserem Blog:

EU wants to make the 5G mobile standard more secure

5G risk assessment: threat from third countries

Successful lobbying for mobile standard 5G

First 5G networks are available

5G Cybersecurity: The EU is in a hurry 

WLAN technology preferred for autonomous driving





Ralf Johanning

Ralf Johanning studied political science and works as a freelance journalist. For over ten years now he reports on the transportation and logistics industry. The priorities include topics such as telematics, software, and ICT. In 2006 the trained editor, Head, and Press Officer founded the editorial office Alte Schule with his partner Ann-Christin Wimber.

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