If you think 5G is bad… you might not cope with what comes next

Let’s clear up some confusion about 5G. I’ve got a fair bit of reader feedback/abuse/support over the last few weeks.

It’s been varied, and that tells me this issue isn’t worth putting to bed just yet. It means I still need to unfold just what this coming 5G boom is all about, and why it is unavoidable whether you like it or not.

But first, I must clear something up. And make an apology…

I’ve referred to 5G sceptics as “nutjobs” in the last couple of weeks.

And, well, I’m wrong. I apologise.

You see people with viable, rational, reasoned and scientifically backed-up concerns about the potential risks of 5G aren’t nutjobs. They’re just looking at this new game-changing technology with different eyes.

And that’s fine, we need to challenge new technology and seriously ask what the potential risks are here and if they end up being real, what we should do about it.

Do I think these concerns are justified? No. But they’re not nutjobs for doing proper investigation with rational approaches.

So, let me just make this really clear…

I don’t think people that have viable scientifically reasoned concerns about 5G are nutjobs. Even if they prove to be wrong.

I do think that people who fear that 5G is spreading coronavirus, is some conspiracy by Bill Gates to sterilise people, is the beginning of a mass extinction event and those that burn down the 5G towers are nutjobs.

Now, you might agree with me on this.

Or maybe you think I’m the nutjob.

Believe it or not, I actually care what you think in this instance. You see either way you clearly care about 5G – and so you should because it stands as perhaps the most defining technology evolution of the decade.


Well, here’s the real truth…

The real truth about 5G

1G wireless technology was a game changer. It really helped kick this all off. It pioneered wireless telecommunications – and brought us those analogue bricks weighing 2lbs! This was just your good old-fashioned voice calling.

2G introduced a digital standard, circuit-switched technology. And it expanded on the range and quality of what was still primarily voice call-focused tech.

3G was a big breakthrough… a huge leap forward.

In 2008, Apple’s 3G iPhone was twice as fast as its predecessor, half the cost and had built-in GPS. Furthermore, 3G enabled the first iterations of mobile broadband.

So, quick quiz while we’re here.

What year did 3G wireless networking come out? 80s? 90s?

It was in October 2001 when NTT DOCOMO (Japanese telco) released the first commercial 3G network. Just 19 years ago.

In those 19 years, that single generation leap in wireless technology sparked the creation of a US$6.3 TRILLION industry.

That’s right, the “app economy” is forecast to top US$6.3 trillion in 2021. And it’s expected that 6.3 billion people will be using apps next year. About 83% of the world will be app users – a technology that didn’t exist 20 years ago.

Of course 3G wasn’t even the end of it.

When do you think 4G hit the market?

I’ll make this quick. It was December 2009. Think about that for a moment.

During the 2008 global financial crisis we didn’t even have 4G networks.

Today 4G is the current standard. It allows us to catch an Uber, post new photos to Facebook, connect on FaceTime and stream movies on Netflix. It’s true mobile broadband. And it has fast become the bedrock of the modern world.

As a point of comparison the evolution from 1G to 4G is the equivalent of going from the height of a grasshopper to the height of the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai. See for yourself here.

Today, we’re another ten years on from 4G’s debut and 5G is just getting started.

There is of course great pushback against it.


Change is hard, new technology is difficult to accept. And people are now more fearful and cautious of the world and “big tech” than ever before.

But 5G rollout isn’t stopping. It’s only going to accelerate over the next decade. And in another nine or ten years, we’ll get 6G.

Yep that’s right, get hung up on 5G if you want, but 6G is coming. And if you don’t believe that, well remember NTT DOCOMO who pioneered the first commercial release of 3G? Well, here’s its whitepaper on 5G evolution to 6G wireless networks.

Are you really afraid?

Technological evolution in wireless networks never stops. Also in all the generations since 1G, these networks have never killed anyone.

They’re not about to start either.

The facts are that 5G is here, but the 5G boom has yet to fully kick off.

In my view, it will, and it will gather momentum so that before you know it, a decade of potential rewards will be off the table, and then people will be freaking out over 6G technology and how it’s spreading mind control or some garbage like that.

That means you can be afraid of what’s coming right now for no good reason. But are you really afraid? I mean, really? Or are you just searching for something to yell at?

To be fair, I think you’re smart enough that you don’t buy into the hullabaloo anyway.

I think you’re smart enough to see how the evolution of these networks provides tangible benefits for investors in every leap it delivers.

Which means the leap from not taking any investment action to stepping up and finding out how to ride the 5G boom isn’t a big leap to take.

Or maybe after all this you do think I’m the nutjob. If so, fine, we can agree to disagree (wildly) on this one.
But if you don’t, and you’re smart enough to see what’s staring you in the face, then maybe you should find out how to profit from the coming 5G boom like thousands of other smart investors are already doing.


Sam Volkering
Editor, Southbank Investment Research

Category: Energy

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