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MPs want health hazard study prior to allowing 5G

LEGISLATORS on Thursday called for an independent study into the potential health hazards of 5G before the cellular network technology is fully rolled out.

The matter was discussed during a joint session of the House health and environment committees, also attended by local academics and scientists.

“Before issuing licenses [for the 5G spectrum] we need to take into account people’s health and their concerns,” Akel MP Adamos Adamou later told reporters.

He said that mobile service providers stand to make a great deal of money from the rollout of 5G, but public health must come first.

Diko MP Georgios Procopiou said scientists and university professors cited research indicating higher cancer incidences attributed to electromagnetic radiation.

The headmaster of a primary school in Engomi, Nicosia, said three conventional mobile phone masts had been erected within 20 metres of his school.

He spoke of a ‘cancer cluster’ in the area.

In Cyprus, 5G has to date been utilised on a pilot basis. Antennas emitting 5G have already been installed along the Limassol coastline and within the Nicosia town centre as part of Cyta’s pilot phase.

In line with Cyprus’ national broadband plan, local telecom companies Cyta, Epic, and Primetel were in April given licensing to run pilot 5G programmes pending the official spectrum auction set to begin at the end of 2019 and to wrap up in the first quarter of 2020.

The EU’s 5G Action Plan, drawn up in 2016, laid out the objective of starting the launch of 5G services in a selected city in each member state by the end of 2020 at the latest, followed by a rapid build-up to ensure uninterrupted 5G coverage in urban areas and along main transport paths by 2025.

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