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Debunking Internet Rumors Linking 5G and Coronavirus

March 08 2020

ipad confusedWhen I agreed to do a monthly update on 5G service and devices, I had no idea I would be writing this article. I need to knock down a conspiracy theory that is spreading on social media and YouTube. 5G is not the cause of the Coronavirus, PERIOD!

The science backs up my statement. Come crazy ideas about 5G causing oxygen to be sucked out of your lungs--REALLY? Here's a quote from one of these social media sites: "On your oxygen molecules, the little electrons, with 5G they start to oscillate. So 5G is absorbing the oxygen and then your hemoglobin can't take up the oxygen."

Here are some facts. Wuhan, China has very limited 5G coverage. Wuhan is where they believe the virus started, and many of the other places that have cases of Coronavirus that they can't trace to China do not have 5G either. Want to be entertained? Google 5G and Coronavirus. In the meantime, if somebody tells you 5G is causing Coronavirus, please tell them that not everything on the internet is true.

So 5G has nothing to do with the cause of Coronavirus, but Coronavirus is affecting 5G. Before I go any further, I feel for all the folks effected by the virus, and the rollout of 5G is the last thing anyone in the tech industry should be worried about for now. Instead, keeping themselves and their families safe should be their main concern.

Back to 5G. The slow rollout was causing tech investors confusion and disappointment before the Coronavirus ever started. The slower than expected upgrade to 5G was happening almost from the beginning as planning for an aggressive rollout proved to be unattainable. Now with the virus hitting so hard in China, so many of the component parts needed for both the network and devices has slowed. On the device side, most of the semiconductors and displays for smartphones are produced in China. On the networking side, certain parts are needed to update the infrastructure—which, again, are produced in China. Currently it's unknown how the virus will affect the supply chain, but we can already see the fears coming from carriers and device manufacturers.

Believe me, this is a painful article to write, and in my research I have learned more. The United States was already behind Asia and many European countries in advancing 5G, both in infrastructure and number of devices in use. Those countries will be affected as well, but they have more components in the pipeline than we do. The United States was attempting to catch up, but now with the supply chain disruption, who knows?

When I started this series, I promised to monitor both the networks and devices and try to educate you with what you need to know about 5G. I enjoyed last month's article that helped you understand how 5G was going to improve your speed, capacity and latency. I planned on sharing more facts this month, but obviously with what is happening, I decided it best to share this information. So as of my March update, there is no need to start shopping for devices or carriers for 5G.

Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at