5G Mast
5G Technology

User Guide: What is 5G Mast and How Does it Work


Mobile phone signals have been perceived to affect human health negatively. No subsequent evidence has been found to back the claims that mobile signals damage human health.

Mobile signals are communicated through radio waves, a type of electromagnetic radiation classified as non-ionizing and does not carry enough energy to damage human bodies.

Despite the research, conspiracy theories have gained public acknowledgment regarding mobile phone signals, especially the signals of 5G.  With the 5G rollout, 5G masts are also questioned since they are responsible for delivering signals to customer devices.

This blog aims to discuss the right information regarding 5G masts so that you can decide if the technology will have adverse effects on your health or if it will revolutionize how internet surfing.

What is 5G Mast?

A mast is a supportive structure that transmits radio waves (signals) to mobile phones and other connected devices so that customers can make calls, send texts, and browse the content of their choice on the internet.

Mainly there are two different types of a 5G mast, towers, and poles. You might have also seen smaller structures installed on building tops; they are also installed to distribute signals to nearby users.

Masts are different from traditional towers because they maximize signal strength within the local area. For example, when signals weaken from one mast, and the user moves away, the network transfers the device to the next mast for strong signal strength.

The mobile operators in the United Kingdom ensuring that masts are built to limit public exposure to electromagnetic waves.

Ofcom, UK’s telecom regulator, conducted tests for 5G masts across the country to ensure the safety and well-being of people. The highest emission levels in mobile phone masts were consistently well and within the health and safety guidelines.

How are masts installed?

The Mast locations are selected by telecom engineers based on technical, logical, and economic requirements. The objective is to provide uninterrupted network coverage, and it takes around 18 months of effort to install a mast -with many phases for site surveying, legal terms, planning, and construction.

Taller masts usually have broader network coverage and can send and receive signals over several kilometers. Taller masts typically can cover a greater number of devices.

Components of 5G Mast

There are six components of 5 masts: Antennas, Radio unit, Transmission, cabinet, Power, and microwave dish. Each component is discussed below.

  • Antennas – Transmits and receive calls, texts, and data to and from your mobile with the help of radio waves.
  • Radio Unit -This unit generates radio waves, which are transmitted with the help of Antennas.
  • Transmission – Connects back to the mobile operator’s network.
  • Cabinet – It has computers that communicate with others masts for effective communication. The cabinet also has a battery as backup power.
  • Power -This component of 5G masts provides electrical power to the communication equipment.
  • Microwave Dish -Used for connecting back to the mobile operator’s network if there is no fixed or cable communication.

How do Masts Work?

Masts are towers or poles that stick up into thin air or are installed on building tops in the shape of a box. The antennas transmit signals to the devices, meaning they have prime functionality in the mast. When making a call, the phone converts voice and data into radio waves, then transmitted to the nearest mast.

At the mast, the antenna determines if the call is placed to another mobile or landline and then routes the call accordingly. UK’s network providers have split the country into several small cells containing the equipment to provide coverage.

The area’s population and topography determine the cells’ density and positioning. Urban areas, for example, contain higher cell volumes to mitigate tall buildings’ interference and serve higher traffic levels.

In rural settings, the masts are kilometers away due to fewer people.

Safety guidelines for 5G Masts

UK’s mobile operators have to ensure that the masts, also known as (radio base stations) are designed, installed, and constructed so they do not damage public health. The service providers have to oblige by the guidelines which govern public exposure to electromagnetic fields.

International Commission on non-ionizing radiation protection (ICNIRP), a universally recognized organization accepted by WHO, governs the safety level of radio and electromagnetic waves. The organization has ensured public well-being through legislation and enforcement of regulations for public safety.

These guidelines were updated in 2020 and monitored frequencies above 300 GHz. Any frequency above this range can be harmful, and the monitory body does not allow it to be a part of 5G masts in the UK.

5G radio waves are below this frequency, usually at 3.4 to 3.6 GHz.

According to a report, the world health organization (WHO) and the food and drug administration (FDA) have declared 5G safe.

How Far from the Mast is Safe?

The radio waves from 5G masts are non-ionizing, meaning they do not negatively affect human health. However, these waves are still governed by ICNIRP. The regulator has defined zones around the antenna, which should exclude people. The zones are larger for common people, while the radius of these zones is smaller for trained workers.

The exact size of the radius depends on the direction and height of the antenna, power use, and wavelength. The safety exclusion zone from the 5G mast is 55m, whereas it is 19m for the 4G.

Benefits of 5G

A 5G mast significantly decreases the latency, which in simple terms, means less time is required to load a webpage or browse across social media.

This generation of the internet is also designed to boost your download speed and give you perfect conditions for online streaming and video calling.

Secondly, the 5th generation of the internet is designed to facilitate the rollout of the IOT (internet of things). The interconnected devices will get better connectivity, making life easier.

5G will incorporate advancements into various industries, including energy, transport, healthcare, and manufacturing. Not just the speed, the productivity and operational capacity of these sectors will significantly improve, thereby leading to a better quality of life.

How fast is 5G?

The 5th generation of the internet delivers peak data rates up to 50 GB/s, enabling users to browse the internet faster. Along with speed, 5G also gives you network capacity with the help of mm-waves.

The mm-waves are designed to increase network performance, provide better coverage, and can integrate multiple wireless technologies.

5G is 10x faster than 4G, which is predicted to facilitate various components of society for enhanced connectedness. For example, 5g performs well, even if the object moves fast. This will help the automated machines move at a higher speed -self-driven cars, for example.

5G Mast Locations

5G has been launched in many areas within the United Kingdom. However, before the Kingdom’s people enjoy complete 5G coverage, there is a long way to go. This isn’t something bad; with every generation of the internet, it takes some time before country-wide coverage, as happened in the case of 3G and 4G.

The rollout is taking place, with some networks covering 50% of the Kingdom’s population. This internet generation is available in 113 major towns and cities, considered 5G mast locations.

Multiple 5g mast locations in the UK will cover the complete population. The table below enlists network providers with 5G coverage in different towns of the United Kingdom.

Network Major towns and cities
Talk Home Mobile 107
Now Mobile 107
EE Network 107
Vodafone Network 70
Three Network 106
O2 Network 88
BT Mobile 107
Sky Mobile 5G 88
Tesco Mobile 5G 88
Giffgaff 88
Virgin Mobile 70
ASDA Mobile 70
iD Mobile 106

Bottom Line

5th generation has already started impacting lives, and the best thing is that the improvements are for the betterment of society. The IoT and AI-driven machines require this generation to function smoothly and ease the jobs of human beings.

With reports ensuring the safety of 5G masts, it becomes easier for people to trust and utilize the technology for their good.

The operators are also responsible for deploying the masts after ensuring the safety standards directed by the ICNIRP.

Make sure to ask the operator to show approval from ICNIRP. This will help assess the laws that govern public health and safety.


How big is a 5G mast?

There are different heights of a 5G mast, depending on the installation location. A 5G is 30 meters high if installed on the ground, whereas its height is 15 meters if installed in a building.

What does 5G stand for?

5G is the fifth generation of the internet, which is 10x faster than 4th generation.

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