Wires crossed

Steven Burnett, Muizenberg

In response to both the article, (“By-law amended,” Echo, November 14) and Daniel Baum’s letter, (“Education needed on implications of cell masts,” Echo, November 21) commenting on it, there is once again a huge misunderstanding in the science behind what makes cellphone towers and radio frequency (RF) in general networks “apparently” unsafe.

A really significant point seems to have been missed in this article: the City does not accept health concerns as an objection to cellphone towers – they just need to comply with the (very conservative) internationally accepted guidelines.

I fear that Mr Baum may indeed be correct in predicting that we will see many fears and worries over the impending roll-out of 5G.

Education is definitely needed here, otherwise we will just see this continuous fear-mongering generated for whatever technologies are developed.

There is not enough paper here to pick apart the credibility of the scientists quoted here, so rather let me explain a little about the 5G satellites Mr Baum finished his letter on.

They are the size of a fridge and orbit the earth at a height of 550km (the distance of Cape Town to Graaff-Reinet). The signal they transmit to earth is so weak in power it can only be picked up by a dedicated receiver. This is hopefully reassuring enough, as they are already here – Elon Musk launched 60 more earlier this month and they’re already flying around over our heads. In theory, they will bring cheap internet that beats fibre to all parts of the world. How can you be against that?