5G is the next generation of mobile technology, which has been used by New Zealanders since the introduction of the mobile phone in 1987. Just like radio, television and baby monitors, it uses radio waves to carry messages.
5G will initially use radio frequencies very similar to 3G and 4G before it, and while eventually it will use radio frequencies at higher levels (such as millimeter waves), this doesn’t result in higher or more intense exposure. Exposure levels will remain well below limits set by the New Zealand Government, and Spark will continue taking great care to comply with these limits.
We understand there is a lot of misinformation across social media about 5G – so we strongly encourage people to get their information about 5G from reliable sources such as:
Yes, it is. Exposure to radio waves are regulated by the New Zealand Government and are based on decades of scientific research. These regulations limit exposure levels to 50 times lower than the point at which radio waves could have any impact on the human body.1 Read the National Environmental Standards for Telecommunications Facilities
Our 5G cell towers in Palmerston North have been tested for radio wave exposure levels in accessible locations, and the maximum possible exposure was just 0.64% of what’s allowed under the New Zealand Standard.2
The Ministry of Health says, "there is nothing unique to 5G that would make it interact differently with the body than other radio frequency fields [radio waves].”3 The radiation emitted by all mobile technology, including 5G, is non-ionising which means it doesn’t carry enough energy to damage our DNA.4
5G has the potential to bring super-fast downloads, minimal latency (or lag), as well as massive connectivity and reliability, opening up huge possibilities for business and the way we live.
Smart phones, iPads, the new digital curriculum in schools and streaming services like Netflix have all led to unprecedented growth in demand for digital services, so moving to the next generation will be critical in maintaining network capacity to support a growing population of Kiwis and our appetite for these types of technologies.
5G can also play an important role in supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery from Covid-19. With each new generation of mobile technology businesses and consumers have benefited from innovation and improved productivity and efficiency, and 5G promises to be transformative for many industries.