What the heck is going on with telecommunications technology in Switzerland? Check out these recent contradictory headlines:
“Switzerland halts rollout of 5G over health concerns”
– Financial Times, February 12, 2020
“Switzerland denies halting 5G rollouts”
– Mobile World Live, February 13, 2020
The politically neutral alpine country Switzerland has seen nationwide protests over health concerns related to untested radiation from the next generation of wireless telecom: 5G. At issue are radiation emissions from the antennas.
As of July 2019, 5G had been launched in 102 Swiss locations with 2,000 antennas to upgrade the national network.
An article published July 18 by the weekly French-language Swiss magazine L’Illustré (The Illustrated) reported that several residents and entire families in the heart of Geneva reported similar unusual symptoms of loud ringing in the ear, intense headaches, unbearable earaches, insomnia, chest pain, fatigue and not feeling well in the house immediately after the 5G antennas became operable.
Geneva resident Johan Perruchoud (29) called telecommunications provider Swisscom and was told that the 5G cell towers were activated on the same day he began to notice his symptoms. Other people who felt radiation effects called Swisscom and were told that everything was legal and within guidelines.
Dr. Bertrand Buchs, a practicing rheumatologist and member of the Christian Democratic People’s Party of Switzerland, filed the motion for a moratorium on 5G in Geneva, saying of his government’s leaders:
“They are treating us like idiots. Where this is concerned, our authorities are going against common sense.”
Dr. Buchs added that the Swiss “risk experiencing a catastrophe in a few years…no serious study exists yet, which is not surprising when we know that this technology was developed in China, then to the United States.”
Demonstrations in Bern, the Swiss federal city and de facto capital, have been organized as more information has come to light about possible risks to humans bathed constantly in 5G radiation.
On September 21, 2019, thousands of people turned out in Bern to voice their opposition to the government-approved, high-tech deployment throughout their mountainous land. Many of the protesters gathered in front of the Swiss parliament building carried signs. Their goal: stop the construction of additional 5G-compatible antennae.
Tamlin Schibler Ulmann, co-president of Frequencia, the group that organized the rally, said that a lack of governmental oversight is a major concern about the advanced electromagnetic (EM) signaling technology:
“The fact that so many people turned out today is a strong sign against the uncontrolled introduction of 5G.”
Several of the 26 Swiss cantons (regional authorities), including Geneva, Vaud, Fribourg, and Neuchatel, responded to online petitions by voting to postpone the construction of new antennae as a precautionary measure.
The Swiss Federation of Doctors (FMH) has also called for caution when embracing the new high-frequency radio-frequency (RF) networked transmission system.
In late January 2020, the Swiss environmental agency Bafu sent a letter to local governments demanding a ban on using the all-new 5G towers. The organization is tasked with providing the cantons safety criteria to assess telecom operators’ radiation emissions.
Citing a lack of “any standard worldwide” for 5G, the Bafu letter said that an examination of exposure through 5G antennas, ideally in real-world operational conditions, “will take some time.”
In response, “Swisscom said that Bafu’s assessment process would not halt its ongoing work to build out 5G infrastructure, even if it meant that it would not be able to be used at full capacity.”
In direct conflict with the reports that new 5G antenna construction was on ice due to health concerns, environmental officials in Switzerland stated that future 5G infrastructure deployments in the country would indeed move forward, with local authorities designating the 5G antenna sites.
A spokesperson for the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) acknowledged the agency had written recently to the country’s cantons regarding the placement of 5G equipment. But the FOEN letter to the cantons “does not contain any recommendation to stop the permitting of 5G base stations. Rather, it sets out how the cantons can proceed with the permitting of 5G and adaptive antennas until FOEN’s enforcement aid on adaptive antennas is available.”
The FOEN representative stated that although some cantons and municipalities” had halted 5G planning permission, these places do “not affect Switzerland in general.”
Swisscom has a lot at stake with its 5G rollout. The telecom leader quickly sealed global roaming deals with Elisa in Finland and SK Telecom in South Korea.