5G in Malawi

What Is 5G In Malawi?

Post was last updated: April 5, 2021
5G in Malawi
5G Network in Malawi

On this page you will learn everything you have wanted to know about 5G. What Is 5G? Is it safe for us to use, especially here in Malawi? We have all the answers in this carefully written draft brought to you by yours truly, Tadala Khonje. You can always contact me if you another topic you would love for me to cover.

5G is a Fifth Generation wireless communication technology. 5G is an unused network system that is still undergoing digital transformation but is said to have undoubted high data rate, trustworthy and low latency than the preceding generations (1G,2G,3G and 4G). The 5th generation technology was framed on the footing created by 4G, the technologies to be used in 5G, are still being outlined. The 5th generation networks works on encoding type known as OFDM . The air interface is outlined for considerable lower latency and better adaptability. 5G networks can work as low frequencies and high as “millimetre wave” and that frequency can communicate huge quantity of information/data, but few blocks at a moment of time. 5G networks are further probably to be networks of mini cells such as size of a house router than to be big tower; it is to extend network scope. The objective is to have great speed accessible and large scope at low latency than 4G. The latency rate of 4G is close to 50 milliseconds, but 5G cut down to almost one millisecond. This is specifically valuable for driverless vehicles and automated applications. The purpose of 5G is to achieve transmission speed to 20-30Gbps, which is 50 times speedy than 4G networks. And its speed has been being tested uninterrupted up to 1.5Gbps while traveling 100km/h and max up to 7.5Gbps. 5th generation network is determine to provide up to a million of connections per square kilometer. It also implies the whole wireless world interconnection together with very high data rates.

What is the focus of the 5G network?

The focus has so far been on supporting voice, data and better spectral efficiency. 5G aims to cater for services with diverse requirements. The connection of various wireless technologies, networks, and applications simultaneously has grown and advanced significantly over the years through research and innovation. This latest wireless technology (5G) is intended to provide download speeds of 20 gigabits per second (Gbps), 10 Gbps upload speeds, and latency of one millisecond (ms). This represents download speeds 200 faster (upload speeds 100 faster) compared to current Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks (i.e. 4G), as well as one-tenth the latency of 4G. The 5G network is being conceived for three use case scenarios: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine type communications (mMTC), and ultra-reliable and low latency communications (ULLC).

What are advantages of 5G Network

  • Provides logically independent network slicing on a single network infrastructure to meet diversified service requirements and provides DC-based cloud architecture to support various application scenarios.
  • Uses Cloud RAN to reconstruct radio access networks (RAN) to provide massive connections of multiple standards and implement on-demand deployment of RAN functions required by 5G.
  • Simplifies core network architecture to implement on demand configuration of network functions through control and user plane separation, component-based functions, and unified database management.
  • Implements automatic network slicing service generation, maintenance, and termination for various services to reduce operating expenses through agile network O&M.
  • High resolution and bi-directional large bandwidth shaping.Technology to gather all networks on one platform. More effective and efficient.
  • Technology to facilitate subscriber supervision tools for the quick action. Most likely, will provide a huge broadcasting data in Gigabit, which will support more than 60,000 connections.
  • Easily manageable with the previous generations. Technological sound to support heterogeneous services including private network. This means it is possible to provide uniform, uninterrupted, and consistent connectivity across the world.

Some Other Advantages for the Common People Parallel multiple services, such as you can know weather and location while talking with other person. You can control your PCs by handsets. Education will become easier − A student sitting in any part of world can attend the class. Medical Treatment will become easier & frugal − A doctor can treat the patient located in remote part of the world. Monitoring will be easier − A governmental organization and investigating offers can monitor any part of the world. Possible to reduce the crime rate. Visualizing universe, galaxies, and planets will be possible. Possible to locate and search the missing person. Possible, natural disaster including tsunami, earthquake etc. can be detected much faster on 5G than 4G, 3G etc.

Is it Safe? Disadvantages of 5G Network

  • Though, 5G technology is researched and conceptualized to solve all radio signal problems and hardship of mobile world, but because of some security reason and lack of technological advancement in most of the geographic regions, it has following shortcomings − Technology is still under process and research on its viability is going on. The speed, this technology is claiming seems difficult to achieve in future, it might be because of the incompetent technological support in most parts of the world.
  • Many of the old devices would not be competent to 5G, hence, all of them need to be replaced with new one — expensive deal.
  • Developing infrastructure needs high cost.
  • Security and privacy issue yet to be solved.

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Impact of 5G Network on the environment

A press conference in June 2016 the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) head Tom Wheeler announced the opening up of low, mid and high spectrum’s. However, there was no mention of health effects whatsoever but the dangers are real. Thousands of studies have indicated a link with low-level wireless radio frequency radiation exposures to a long list of adverse biological effects which include:

  • DNA single and double strand breaks
  • Oxidative damage
  • Disruption of cell metabolism
  • Melatonin reduction
  • Disruption to brain glucose metabolism
  • Generation of stress proteins

In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified radio frequency radiation as a possible 2B carcinogen and more recently the $25 million National Toxicology Program concluded that radio frequency radiation of the type currently used by cell phones can cause cancer. Where does 5G fit into all this, you may be asking? Given that 5G is set to utilize frequencies above and below existing frequency bands, 5G sits in the middle of all this. But the tendency (it varies from country to country) is for 5G to utilize the higher frequency bands. Which brings its own particular concerns. Here is a review of a study that shows why we should be concerned with the 5G network.


The biggest concern is how these new wavelengths will affect the skin. The human body has between two million to four million sweat ducts. Dr. Ben-Ishai of Hebrew University, Israel explains that our sweat ducts act like “an array of helical antennas when exposed to these wavelengths,” meaning that we become more conductive. A recent New York study which experimented with 60GHz waves stated that “the analyses of penetration depth show that more than 90% of the transmitted power is absorbed in the epidermis and dermis layer.”
The effects as studied by Dr. Yael Stein of Hebrew University is said to also cause humans physical pain as our nociceptors flare up in recognition of the wave as a damaging stimuli. So we’re looking at possibilities of many skin diseases and cancer as well as physical pain to our skin.


A 1994 study found that low level millimeter microwave radiation produced lens opacity in rats, which is linked to the production of cataracts.
An experiment conducted by the Medical Research Institute of Kanazawa Medical University found that 60GHz “millimeter-wave antennas can cause thermal injuries of varying types of levels. The thermal effects induced by millimeter waves (MMWs) can apparently penetrate below the surface of the eye.” Lastly, in 2003 a Chinese study also found damage to the lens epithelial cells of rabbits after 8 hours of exposure to microwave radiation and a 2009 study conducted by the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Pakistan concluded that EMFs emitted by a mobile phone cause derangement of chicken embryo retinal differentiation.


A 1992 Russian study found that frequencies in the range 53-78GHz (that which 5G proposes to use) impacted the heart rate variability (an indicator of stress) in rats. Another Russian study on frogs who’s skin was exposed found heart rate changes (arrhythmias).


A 2002 Russian study examined the effects of 42HGz microwave radiation exposure on the blood of healthy mice. It was concluded that “the whole-body exposure of healthy mice to low-intensity EHF EMR has a profound effect on the indices of nonspecific immunity”.


An Armenian study observed MMWs at low intensity, mirroring the future environment brought about by 5G. Their study conducted on E-coli and other bacteria stated that the waves had depressed their growth as well as “changing properties and activity” of the cells. The concern is that it would do the same to human cells.


The very same Armenian study also suggested that MMWs effects are mainly on water, cell plasma membrane and genome too. They had found that MMW’s interaction with bacteria altered their sensitivity to “different biologically active chemicals, including antibiotics.” More specifically, the combination of MMW and antibiotics showed that it may be leading to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

This groundbreaking finding could have a magnum effect on the health of human beings as the bandwidth is rolled out nationwide. The concern is that we develop a lower resistance to bacteria as our cells become more vulnerable – and we become more vulnerable.


One of the features of 5G is that the MMW is particularly susceptible to being absorbed by plants and rain.
Humans and animals alike consume plants as a food source. The effects MMW has on plants could leave us with food that’s not safe to consume.
Think GMOs on steroids. The water that falls from the sky onto these plants will also be irradiated. A 2010 study on aspen seedlings showed that the exposure to radio frequencies led to the leaves showing necrosis symptoms.

Another Armenian study found that MMWs of low intensity “invoke(s) peroxidase isoenzyme spectrum changes of wheat shoots.” Peroxidase is a stress protein existing in plants. Indications are that 5G will be particularly harmful to plants – perhaps more so than to humans.


Implementation of the 5G global wireless network requires the launching of rockets to deploy satellites for 5G. These satellites have a short lifespan which would require a lot more deployment than what we’re currently seeing. A new type of hydrocarbon rocket engine expected to power a fleet of suborbital rockets would emit black carbon which “could cause potentially significant changes in the global atmospheric circulation and distributions of ozone and temperature” according to a 2010 Californian study. Solid state rocket exhaust contains chlorine which also destroys the ozone.

The effects on the ozone are thought to be worse than current day CFC exposure. Google’s Project Loon is said to bring Internet to rural and hard-to-access areas by using helium balloons.
But these balloons only have a 10-month lifespan. We’re looking at a lot of helium being used here, more than what we can possibly have on Earth.


Since the year 2000, there have been reports of birds abandoning their nests as well as health issues like “plumage deterioration, locomotion problems, reduced survivorship and death,” says researcher Alfonso Balmori. Bird species that are affected by these low levels, non-ionizing microwave radiation are the House Sparrows, Rock Doves, White Storks, Collared Doves and Magpies, among others.

But it’s not just the birds. The declining bee population is also said to be linked to this non-ionizing EMF radiation. It reduces the egg-laying abilities of the queen leading to a decline in colony strength.

When Is 5G Coming To Malawi?

Well, because of the lack of transparency and misuse of funds provided to the Malawi education, science and technology, 5G will most likely come but delayed and it will most likely will not give us the average speeds, it will take some time as telecommunication companies will work to get more 5G towers spread across Malawi.

We can expect 5G network to be rolled out in Malawi starting in late 2021 or most likely middle of 2022 when most companies that produce phones will push for 5G phones to be sold on the international market.

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Tadala Khonje