Despite the many anticipated communications benefits of fifth generation (5G) cellular, a very vocal minority of municipalities and local leaders are opposed to 5G deployment for reasons ranging from aesthetics and health concerns to local government rights and corporate overreach. 5G pundits include the wireless carrier ecosystem as well as independent consultants espousing primarily the economic benefits of 5G capabilities including new feature functionality enabled by substantially greater bandwidth and much lower latency.
Many misconceptions and unanswered questions remain roadblocks for municipal acceptance of 5G. Furthermore, some local governments have concerns over aggressive timelines postulated for 5G deployment. A general lack of acceptance exists with a very vocal minority while the majority of the public is not engaged, which does not necessarily equate to disinterest but rather lack of community involvement. However, certain municipalities, such as Marin County, California have brought together enough support to change the course of 5G deployment plans, which otherwise would have proceeded without dealing with public concerns. The California county successfully took a stand with other public agencies against a federal ruling for 5G deployment.
The local government have engaged in a communications and information sharing initiative. They have conducted community surveys with instructive findings such as 52 percent of respondents expressing at least moderate concern about the upgrades to wireless communication devices and exposure to electromagnetic fields. They also developed a webpage to provide useful information to the public such as “…5G antennas are generally smaller in size (each antenna equivalent to the size of a tool cabinet) and have a more limited coverage area of less than 1,000 feet, meaning they are most effective where there is a line of sight between the antenna and the user or another antenna”.
Marin has also stated some of their concerns very clearly on the webpage including “The FCC’s actions placed new limits on state and local government’s regulatory authority over small wireless infrastructure located within the public rights of way, established limits on the amount of fees that can be charged for use of publicly owned utility poles for the installation of telecommunications equipment (such as antennae) as well as the amount of fees that can be charged for the review of telecommunications facilities”. In January 2019, the county conducted a workshop with the intention to discuss the emerging issues associated with a federal ruling and provide direction to staff about potential amendments to the County’s policies and regulations.
In a more rural county in the state of Washington, Clallam County, a Planning Commission has held public meetings. In a recent meeting, one hundred percent of speakers from the public voiced concerns about 5G with most associated with health-related uses due to concern about millimeter wave (mmWave) RF signals. Health officials indicated concern over how mmWave could disrupt cells within the body. Some voice concerns about mmWave being used as a tool for crowd control by the government, underscoring public misunderstanding about high-power microwave vs. low-power cellular signals.
This report will help the reader better understand the issues and identify strategies for collaboration between the wireless carrier ecosystem and local leaders. The report will enable the reader to develop effective strategies for engagement to gain support for 5G deployment and operations. This includes engaging municipalities and civic leaders about 5G economic and quality of life benefits. Additional insights from our primary research along with recommendations are found in the report. The report is intended for both sides of the issue as both local leaders and corporate interests will use it to better engage the other party.
This Management Strategy Report is part of our Insight Series that identifies developing market trends and provides vision into the market impact of emerging and disintermediating technologies. This offering includes expert Q&A as well as one hour of interactive consultation to answer your pressing technology and/or business issues. Additional consulting, advisory services, and/or research customization are available upon request.
Corporate buyers interest in this report will also be interested in 5G Market by Technology, Infrastructure, and Capabilities (Network Slicing, Mobile Edge Computing, Smart Antennas), Industry Vertical, and Region 2019-2024 and other 5G research from this leading management consulting and research company. All purchases of this report includes time with an expert analyst who will help you link key findings in the report to the business issues you're addressing. This needs to be used within three months of purchasing the report.
- Substantial misconception about what 5G is and is not
- Critically important to address citizen 5G health related concerns
- Lack of knowledge about quality of life benefits of 5G apps and services
- Key need for collaboration between corporate and community interests
- Understand 5G concerns of citizens and local government
- Identify opportunities for collaboration between carrier ecosystem and municipalities
- Develop strategies for how to better engage local government and community leaders
- Identify how to engender citizen support for 5G based on quality of life apps and services
- Proactively address concerns about federal overreach into municipality rights to self-govern
- Wireless carriers
- Urban planning groups
- Smart city infrastructure providers
- Municipal planning boards and committees
- Local civic leaders and evangelists
- Concerned healthcare practitioners
- Concerned environmentalists
With the purchase of this report, you will have access to one hour with an expert analyst who will help you link key findings in the report to the business issues you're addressing. This will need to be used within three months of purchase.
1. Executive Summary
2.1. Missteps by FCC/Carriers towards Municipalities
2.2. Opposition to 5G Deployment
2.3. Trillion Dollar Industry in Jeopardy
2.4. Areas of Confusion, Concern, and Opportunities
3. 5G Areas of Public Confusion
3.1. High Power vs. Low Power mmWave
3.2. Shared Infrastructure and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing
3.3. Cellular Radio is NOT Ionizing Radiation
3.4. RF Propagation: Attenuation (Blocking and Fading)
4. 5G Areas of Public Concern
4.1. Perceived Health Dangers of Cellular Radiation
4.2. Number and Location of Small Cells
4.3. Ability to Camouflage 5G Cells
4.4. Heavy-handedness against Local Government Authority
5. Case Studies
5.1. Marin County, California
5.2. Clallam Country, Washington
6. 5G Areas of Opportunity
6.1. A Need for Collaboration with Municipalities
6.2. Balancing Economic Growth with Concerns
6.3. 5G Implications Requires More Hands-on Approach
6.4. Corporate Strategy Should Include Community Involvement
6.5. Helping Local Leaders Understand Local Benefits
6.6. Local Use Cases Focused on Quality of Life Benefits
6.7. Micro Business Cases Focused on Local Economy
7. 5G Market Analysis and Forecasts
7.1. Overly Aggressive Forecasts in Light of Issues
7.2. Recommended Apps and Services for Early Adoption
8. Summary and Recommendations
8.1. Smart Cities have Smart People with Concerns
8.3. Balance Tops Down Corporate with Bottoms Up Community
8.4. Develop Proof Points with Key Communities and Leaders
8.5. Focus on Quality of Life Apps and Services