Expert report on 5G safety proves inconclusive 

Demonstrators have warned about the possible health risks of 5G technology. Keystone

A much-awaited expert report on 5G has failed to come up with conclusive findings on the safety of the new communications technology, meaning the ball is now back in the court of the federal government and cantons.  

This content was published on November 29, 2019 - 12:38

The experts failed to agree recommendations for 5G emission limits, instead presenting the government with five possible options. Their reportExternal link, submitted to the government on Thursday, recommends more information for the public and more research on the possible health risks of mobile phone technology.  

Telecoms operators Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom, who were represented in the expert group, expressed satisfaction at the report, saying that “nothing prevents the roll-out of 5G from a health point of view”.  

The expert group was set up in 2018 by former environment and communications minister Doris Leuthard, in the face of considerable public concern about the new technology.    

Anti-5G groups are launching a popular initiative to limit radiation from mobile communications technology, while some cantons have suspended authorisations  for new 5G mobile antennae pending the outcome of the report.  

It will now be up to the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETECExternal link) to decide how to proceed at federal level, and for cantons to decide whether or not to grant authorisations for new 5G installations.   

Speaking to Swiss public broadcaster RTS, Geneva local government minister Antonio Hodgers expressed disappointment at the inconclusive nature of the report, saying Geneva would maintain its moratorium on 5G authorisations pending a “less technical and more political response from the federal government”. Other cantons that have introduce a moratorium are Vaud, Neuchâtel and Jura, all in western Switzerland.  

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