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LETTER: Truth and facts important on 5G

letter-sta

I am a retired TELUS employee. I declare this right up front so that I can’t be accused of hiding any bias and also so that I can speak with some limited knowledge about last week's letter to the editor from Leroy Latta on 5G.

I respect everyone's right to freedom of speech and freedom to their opinions but I also strongly believe in the truth and facts. First, it is wrong to single out TELUS for implementing 5G – it is being implemented across Canada by all four major carriers, Telus, Rogers, Bell and Shaw, plus eight smaller regional companies.

To the writer's statement that these corporations have power over our elected government, I would say absolutely NO – after all, the federal government last year sold the 5g 600 mhz spectrum to the cellular companies for $3.5 BILLION and later this year the federal government anticipates auctioning the 5G 3500 Mhz spectrum (the international standard) for up to an additional $10 billion.

The claim that 5G beams are “shot out like a machine gun” and do not lose any intensity over the distance they travel is absolutely wrong. The exact opposite is true: without getting too technical, 5G signals travel much shorter distances and therefore require more cell sites and more antennas of a smaller size operating at lower power to give the same coverage as existing 4G – this is why we see more cell towers being built in St. Albert, which was the letter writer's initial concern.

The letter claims 5G is a “trillion dollar bonanza" for the industry, but in fact to implement 5G across Canada it is estimated to cost the cellular companies $30 billion over the next five to six years (and create tens of thousands of high tech jobs), this in addition to the the billions already paid to the federal government for spectrum.

It is unfortunate that the letter resorted to false technical information and “scare tactic” medical claims to totally mislead readers. St Albert's Smart City plan relies heavily on new services that will be enabled by 5G, like smart synchronized traffic lights.

As we all struggle to work and school and shop and be entertained at home and video chat with loved ones (friends, family, grandkids, grandparents) that we can’t physically visit, I only wish we had 5G working today so we would take advantage of the faster speeds, more data and better signals that 5G will safely deliver.

Mike Killick

St. Albert