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Belgians struggle to distinguish between truth and fiction in 5G debate, study claims

Illustration picture taken during a demonstration organized by 'Collectif/ Collectief' calling to stop the deployment of 5G, fifth generation, wireless network, Saturday 26 September 2020, in Brussels. (BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK)
10:32 27/10/2020

According to the annual ConsumerLab study commissioned by Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson, to be released on Tuesday, Belgians are ill-informed and overwhelmed by the amount of information presented to them in relation to 5G.

The study shows that nearly six out of 10 respondents (58%) have admitted to an inability to distinguish between true and false when it comes to the information they receive on this sometimes sensitive societal issue.

According to Ericsson, who surveyed 1,000 smartphone users aged 15 to 69 last July, representing the opinion of 5.6 million Belgian consumers, Belgian citizens seem to lack access to quality information about 5G.

Seven out of 10 respondents expect to be better informed about the benefits of 5G. They consider technology specialists to be the most reliable source of information (36%), ahead of mobile operators (35%) and health authorities and experts (31%). Journalists are credited with only a score of 14% while 50% of the Belgian population admits to having formed their own opinion on the subject based on information collected on social networks and on Youtube.

"From the emergence of coronavirus to the deterioration of health or the environment, 5G has been associated with a multitude of 'fake news' stories," says Rémi de Montgolfier, director of Ericsson Belux.

According to Rémi de Montgolfier, these "unfounded myths" have overshadowed 5G and failed to highlight the benefits that consumers and industry could derive from it. "We let social media do the job and, let's be honest, it wasn't a good solution," he said. "First and foremost, we need a clear signal of the policy in its favour," he argues. "That's what we're missing today. 5G has indeed become a political debate."

The dissemination of information on 5G must be promoted in the same way as the government did in Luxembourg, says Rémi de Mongtolfier. He is concerned that Ericsson, who recently replaced Huawei as the chosen operator of 5G in Belgium, will not see a commercial launch of the technology until the end of 2022, or even 2023, which would put Belgium at the back of the European queue. "It is hoped that the federal government will understand the urgency of the situation and unblock it."

According to the survey, as many as half a million consumers could adopt 5G within three to six months of its commercial launch.

Written by Nick Amies


John P

What a misleading title (and content) trying to persuade us that 5G is much better than we think.
"Belgians struggle to distinguish between truth and fiction in 5G debate, study claims".
But of course there will be a struggle to distinguish between truth and fiction in any new technology. Why?
1. It is new.
2. Tech companies lie to us systematically because their reason for existing is to maximize shareholder value and not to avoid damaging consumers.
3. politicians lie to us systematically about new tech either knowingly or unknowingly. After all they are normal people, so why would they know more than their average constituent in order to decide whether something new is good or bad for us? So they depend on studies done by the companies themselves or their not-so-independent labs. (see point 2 again)
4. politicians lie to us systematically about new tech because of corruption, hidden favors and revolving doors.
5. New tech is complicated and supposedly can do great things for us BUT until now, the quality of our life has been continuously reduced by most of these new technologies. They may have improved the speed of data transfer for example so our debit card transactions go through in 3 seconds rather than 10 or 15 (WOW!!) but at the cost of zero privacy and a very high carbon footprint, in order to gain what? To reduce the use of cash whose transactions "went through" in ZERO seconds and provided absolute privacy!
And please don't start about money laundering with cash because it's ridiculous to even think about it. Non cash (electronic) money laundering is happening as you are reading these measly lines, through the official banking system. Just look at the billions of fines all big (and smaller) banks are happy to pay when they get caught laundering. Key words here are "happy to pay". Why? because they launder trillions, that's why! And they accomplish it all from some desk, in some part of the world, through some subsidiary, thousands of times an hour while you bust your chops to survive and to pay your taxes. They do that even while they sleep, how? through technology which brings trillions to them and a faster facebook to you.
6. Non of these technologies have evidence based adverse health effects studies. Do you know what mobile phone HIGH usage LONG TERM safety tests consist of? A 120kg person with a big head using their phone 6 times per week, for 1 minute each time, for six months!!!
So our health deteriorates and for what? To make our brains lazy, disorganized and weak because we can call or text on the fly to compensate for it.
Sorry forgot, we can also count our steps an calories to the T just so that our insurance company's big IOT brother can charge us more if we don't stay or become fit?
What a negative spiral!

YOU (WE) have been DUPED all the while our health is going down the drain (see microwave radiation, blue light, bad posture, bad sleep, waste of countless hours, psychological stress etc etc) and our privacy is less than that of an electronically tagged sheep in a large milk & meat farm.

I could go on for much longer but I have already written enough for this medium.

Oct 28, 2020 10:17
Frank Lee

When CDs and DVDs replaced cassette tapes, I didn't stop in a panic over having a laser in my house. I enjoyed the new technology.
Luddites have always existed, thinking trains would make cows stop producing milk...

Oct 29, 2020 15:39