RRT provides clarifications on 5G

April 27, 2020

27 April 2020, Vilnius. The Communications Regulatory Authority of the Republic of Lithuania (RRT), in response to recent public reactions and the spread of disinformation on the topic of 5G, provides clarifications on the features and essential principles of this technology. Concerns about the dissemination of disinformation about the effects of 5G on the environment, human health and the links with COVID-19 are expressed by both the European Commission and national regulatory authorities in other European Union countries. The European Commission notes that the European Union has the highest standards in the world as concerns consumer protection, giving the priority to the protection of public health and the security of its citizens, and that the same highest standards of security apply to the new generation of communication technology.

What you need to know about 5G

  • 5G is an extension of the currently widely used 3G and 4G technologies, based on the same principles of radio wave propagation.  The title 5G means “fifth generation of mobile network”. There are no differences between the electromagnetic field effects of 3G, 4G and 5G. We have been using 3G and 4G, daily, for voice and data transmission for many years (3G since 2001 and 4G since 2011). 5G is not an exclusive technology, it is a newer version of the same 4G technology standard, which, with its technical solutions, ensures higher data transfer speed, lower signal transmission delay and the ability to serve more users simultaneously. This enables more advanced services and applications to be provided remotely in areas such as healthcare, energy, transport, or education.
  • 5G (and future 6G) networks, especially those operating in the higher radio frequency bands, are expected to use stations requiring much less power with smart antennas that will provide much better coverage and higher connection speeds compared to current systems. Small cell stations, which will be less visible and produce less electromagnetic emissions, are also expected to play an important role. They are basically similar to the well-known Wi-Fi devices, which are widely used at homes, in offices, and public places.
  • There is no connection between 5G and COVID-19Recent World Health Organization (WHO) report states: “Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth, or nose. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G networks.” 5G is a next-generation mobile network technology that is transmitted over non-ionizing radio waves, therefore it is impossible that it has any impact on the spread of the virus.
  • Effects of electromagnetic waves. Current scientific knowledge, published publicly by the World Health Organization (WHO), shows that, although a great deal of research has already been done and is still being carried out in this field, the available scientific evidence does not suggest that low levels of electromagnetic fields exposed from radio and television stations, mobile base stations, etc. could have any impact on human health. Strict limits on electromagnetic fields are set by the EU in accordance with the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) [1] . Electromagnetic radiation standards set in Lithuania correspond to the European standards. In addition, any radio equipment used in the EU is subject to the highest health and safety requirements defined in the harmonized standards applicable in all EU Member States.
  • 5G implementation process in Lithuania is being carried out responsibly. Lithuania, like other European Union countries, implements the decisions of the European Commission regarding the development of this technology. In this implementation process, RRT is in charge of the management of radio frequencies and their allocation to operators intending to provide services. RRT is currently preparing for the auction to grant the right to use radio frequencies which is planned to be launched at the end of 2020; however, as in the previous auctions, the allocation of frequencies does not specify the technology to be deployed: operators that have been allocated frequencies can use them to develop both existing 4G and new 5G technologies, depending on the needs of service users. RRT reminds that the first non-commercial 5G tests were performed in Lithuania in December 2018, but currently no 5G stations are operational in Lithuania, operators are still preparing for the transition to this new, faster technology.
  • Spread of disinformation. Experience in other countries has shown that attempts are being made on social media to disseminate messages linking 5G to the coronavirus outbreak, with the aim of causing confusion and unrest during this period already difficult for the society. In fulfilling its functions of the Internet hotline “Clean Internet”, RRT, by observing the experience of other countries where people are encouraged to destroy “5G towers” and in view of information disseminated in certain Lithuanian social networking groups on the topic of 5G, reminds that in accordance with Article 19 of the Law on Public Information of the Republic of Lithuania, the publication of information inciting hatred and violence is prohibited. Illegal content observed on the internet can be reported at
  • For more reliable information on 5G, the effects electromagnetic fields have on health and other relevant issues, visit:

„Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters“: World Health Organization material:

„Electromagnetic fields and 5G“: European Commission information:

„Fighting disinformation“: European Commission material on misinformation on COVID-19:

„Effects of 5G wireless communication on human health”: European Parliament material:

„Does electromagnetic field exposure endanger health?“: European Commission material on the effects new technologies have on health:

„Electromagnetic Field (EMF) measurements near 5G mobile phone base stations”: Ofcom (UK e-communications regulator) study report:

Electromagnetic radiation standards in Lithuania have been harmonized with European standards: material from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania

[1] ICNIRP is an independent non-profit scientific organisation based in Germany founded in 1992 by the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA), specialising in non-ionizing radiation protection. The group is recognised and supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO). As presented by ICNIRP, ICNIRP’s resources consist in subsidies from national and international public institutions such as the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (“EaSI”) 2014-2020 and IRPA, in support received to organize meetings or workshops from national ministries or radiation protection agencies, and in private donations from private individuals or from businesses not related in any way to the field of non-ionizing radiations, which are listed in the ICNIRP donors’ report. ICNIRP insists that it is free of vested interests as its members cannot be employed by industry, must comply with the ICNIRP’s policy of independence and must publicly declare their personal interests. ICNIRP’s annual financial report is published online.


Updated on 2020-05-12