Protesters against technology will fill the streets of Bern later this month, but there are already plans to build a fifth-generation antenna in the ice in many cantons.
The technology was discovered in a profound trade war between China and the United States, which tried to rein in Chinese giant Huawei as a global leader in 5G devices – feared that Beijing would connect with those countries spies using their products and services.
But apart from the clash of titans, an increasing number of Swiss are exposed to electromagnetic radiation from the new antenna, alarming the potential health effects, and putting the issue in a referendum in a country known for its direct threat. The democratic system.
It wasn’t supposed to be that way
In February, Switzerland took a major step towards deployment when it attributed the three main operators, Swisscom, Sunrise and Salt, to 5G frequencies, leaving the country at about 380 million Swiss francs ($ 384 million, 350 million euros). He received permission to break in revenue.
As a success, operators have been competing in TV commercials and billboards, which will be available on state-of-the-art technology this year in cities, rural areas and even in mountainous regions.
In early July, 334 5G antenna stations were operational across the country, officials told AFP.
But startup encountered some serious obstacles.
Many cantons, including Geneva, sought to halt the construction of 5G infrastructure, and put pressure on online petitioners.
But unless a new antenna is established in some parts of the country, operators are still switching the current 4G antenna to use 5G – something they can do without permission.
Swisscom says it expects 90 per cent of the population to have access to the fifth generation by the end of the year.
At the same time, opponents have warned that 5G poses unprecedented health and environmental risks compared to previous generations of mobile technology, urging authorities to ban bulletins altogether.
They will organize a mass demonstration in front of government buildings in Bern on September 21, and will also bring the issue to a popular vote.
“I think we have the most citizens,” said Cocoa Tach-Bertier of the organization, Vequenia, told AFP.
Oliver Baud, who regularly performs against the 5G before the United Nations in Geneva, agreed that the focus on the technology would be “people’s ability to think and influence the environment and health.”
For people like him, who suffer from “electromagnetic hypersensitivity,” the new technology would be disastrous, he said.
The strong Swiss Medical Association also urges caution: “As long as there is no scientific evidence that raising the radiation limit will not affect health, no one should avoid raising it.”
In Geneva, there is Daniel Box, a doctor and regional deputy with the centrist Christian Democratic Party, who leads the battle.
“We are waiting for a serious and independent study to show whether yes 5 or 5 is a detrimental effect on the population,” he told AFP.
He stressed that such a study could help avoid a health scandal as the world sees it with asbestos, which has been safe for a long time but today at least 107,000 people worldwide are known each year for murder.
Several studies are already under way by the World Health Organization, where Agence France-Presse reported that it “has begun a risk assessment of the health consequences of exposure to the RF field.”
A group of experts was also appointed by the Swiss government last year to investigate the risks associated with the inclusion of 5G, and their findings should be published by the end of the year.
The study was originally scheduled to be published during the first half of the year.
The delay, which the government has linked to the “scale of the mission”, has angered opponents of the fifth generation, who may be suspected of being pressured by operators.
“You really have to ask yourself why,” Tache-Bether said.