Swiss Citizens to Protest 5G Cell Phone Network Rollout

Health concerns over 5G antennas and RF radiation are pitting citizens against cell phone network providers.
Marcia Wendorf

On September 21, 2019, Swiss citizens will stage a large protest at Swiss government buildings in Bern against the 5G cellphone network rollout in their country. Citizens are also organizing to place the issue of 5G on a ballot.

On April 9, 2019, CNN Business reported on the U.S. cities where you can access the new 5G cell network. By September 18, 2019, Yahoo! was reporting on Swiss cantons that are banning 5G.


In September, 2019, the city council of Mill Valley, a Marin County town just north of San Francisco, voted unanimously to block 5G small cell antennas within the city’s residential areas.

The city said it received 145 letters from concerned citizens, with only five supporting 5G. Other Marin County cities including San Anselmo and Ross, have also passed ordinances banning 5G antennas.

What went wrong?

This past February, 2019, Switzerland allocated 5G frequencies to three major carriers: Swisscom, Sunrise and Salt, who forked over a combined 380 million Swiss Francs ($384 million 350 million euros) for the privilege.

In July, 2019, according to the same Yahoo! article, 334 5G antennas were operating across Switzerland when the backlash began. Citizens in the canton of Geneva forced a halt to construction of 5G antennas there, but, while citizens can stop the construction of new cell phone antennas, operators can still convert their existing 4G antennas to 5G.

On July 20, 2019, the Physicians for Safe Technology website reported on injuries suffered by those living near the new 5G antennas in Geneva. People reported similar symptoms including ringing in the ears, headaches, earaches, insomnia, chest pain and fatigue. 29-year-old Geneva resident Johan Perruchoud, started experiencing symptoms the same day Swisscom turned on its 5G cell tower near his home.

What is 5G?

5G stands for "5th generation cellular technology," and it will have an average download speed of about 1GBps (1 gigabyte per second). That's fast enough to download an entire movie in about one second.

While 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G use between 1 and 5 gigahertz frequency, 5G uses between 24 and 90 gigahertz frequency. That's a 1,700% increase in frequency.

Electromagnetic spectrum
Electromagnetic spectrum Source: Philip Ronan/Wikimedia Commons

The higher-frequency bands can carry a lot of capacity, but their shorter wavelengths mean their range is lower, and they can be blocked by buildings, cars, airplanes, and trees.

To solve that problem, 5G requires "small-cell antennas," that must be deployed far more densely than 4G antennas, at roughly every 500 feet, or about one antenna per city block.

Small-cell antennas are about 4 feet tall, and the cell phone operators plan to affix them to streetlights and utility poles, or place them on the ground, sometimes disguised as mailboxes. At the end of 2017, there were approximately 320,000 4G cell antennas in the U.S. A study by consulting firm Accenture estimates that 5G will require 769,000 small-cell antennas, an increase of 449,000 new antennas.

Multi-unit buildings are planning "pico cell antennas" to provide 5G coverage for residents inside the building.  There will undoubtedly be an increase in the number of sources that transmit radio frequency (RF) signals.

The microwave on your streetlight

5G radiation is similar to the waves used to cook food in your microwave. In 2016, Dr. Yael Stein of Jerusalem's Hebrew University sent a letter to the FCC Commissioners, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, outlining the effect of 5G radiation on human skin.

According to Dr. Stein, over 90% of microwave radiation is absorbed by the epidermis, the top layer of skin, and dermis layers of our skin, and the sweat ducts in the epidermis act like helical antennas. These are antennas specially designed to respond to electromagnetic fields. 

These facts have been known to the U.S. Department of Defense for a long time, and they've created a weapon, called the Active Denial System, that uses MMWs to make people's skin feel like it’s stinging or burning. Turn the weapon up a notch, and it could be used to microwave people to death.

Swisscom is currently using the same rhetoric as U.S. President Donald Trump and his Director of the U.S. Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Ajit Pai. Swisscom says, "5G will create new opportunities for residential customers and businesses across Switzerland. 5G is the new mobile communication standard for digitization, enabling the extremely fast connection of millions of devices, things and people."

In order to have a clearer image regarding the background of the mobile phones of today, you can also take a look at this video;

Most troubling to opponents of 5G is that the Swiss government appointed a panel of experts to assess the risks of 5G. Their report was due to have been released by the end of 2019, however, it has been delayed until next year. Swiss 5G opponents see the delay as the government buckling under pressure from the cell phone operators.

In a September 16, 2019 article in Scientific American, author Kenneth Foster said, "Because an individual's greatest exposure to RF energy is when he or she uses a cell phone, a concerned individual could simply refrain from using one." I doubt that is a viable option in today's world. Foster goes on to say, "Engineers, for their own part, are inclined to regard 5G as an extension of present (3G, 4G) cellular technology." Mr. Foster, I'm not so sure about that.