back to article 4G? Pah! Boffins charge up the dial to 5G data EXTREME-band kit

A project headed by New York University has scored $2m to fund research into 80GHz radio, as a potential home for 5G in the spectrum land rush up the dial. $800,000 is coming from the US National Science Foundation, the rest from commercial companies and from NY State as represented by Empire State Development. The money will …


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  1. Morg

    Still I wonder when those brain disrupting waves will be outlawed - there are already so many people who can't sleep with WiFi on and get headaches with 3G - who knows how the new crap is going to hurt as they up the volume to keep the signal/noise ratio workable....

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. dotdavid
      Black Helicopters

      Forget electromagnetic hypersensitivity - what about outlawing those satanic railways? The Human body was not designed to travel at such speeds - some claim that your soul is literally ripped from your body when you do. Who knows how new faster trains will affect us!

      1. Morg

        That article is full of bullshit.

        At a time I could tell you exactly when I was going to receive an SMS or a call, and that was 100% accurate with no false positives and more than 60% of the events detected.

        If that's possible it means that it's possible for the human body to sense signals at that wavelength (and we have more than one way for that, since 2.4ghz is a frequency that inevitably has an effect on water).

        From there, if your belief is that those waves are harmful, you will associate negative feelings with sensing those waves, thereby creating the stress-like condition described in the study.

        Therefore, removing the associated negative feelings through therapy will inevitably lower the stress-level.

        That in itself does not prove that they're harmful, you could lower the stress level of rape victims by therapy too (and quite luckily it's done for many of them), it doesn't mean they haven't suffered, it only goes to show that most of the suffering is related to the associated negative feelings rather than the event itself (how otherwise, would sex slaves in less developed countries keep their sanity).

        In extenso, your study is not scientific, it just takes scientific studies, and try to package them and present them in a way that is suitable to the author, but in no way implied by measured facts.

        Whether all those wireless frequencies are dangerous or not, is something that will only be known in a hundred years, when all financial interest to hide it is gone.

        Right now, the wireless industry is way too big to not be able to keep that stuff canned, just like the oil industry is still strong enough to prevent serious alternatives to emerge.

        So maybe it doesn't hurt, anyway you will not know until later, and if you really care you should faraday-cage your house and quit whining.

        1. dotdavid
          Thumb Up

          You're right Morg. I doubt we'll fully comprehend the dangers of railway travel while the exploitative railway barons are still around to suppress the scientific evidence against it.

          1. Morg

            Sure whatever, keep on voting man ;)

            1. Cameron Colley


              If you can reliably detect the radiation from a mobile phone you will be famous.

              Find an agent, find an independent lab to back your claims then become very rich and famous. Or are you just bullshitting?

        2. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Morg is not lieing, with my old phone I could 60% of the time tell when I was about to get a text or phone call, as my unshielded speakers would start going "BURRRR-BUP-BUP-BUP-BUP-BURRRR".

    3. Ambivalous Crowboard

      [citation needed]

    4. IronSteve

      ...that's what your tinfoil hat is for Morg

  2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Does anyone remember

    The ever increasing heriarchy of superlatives to describe successively brighter generations of LEDs? I was really dissapointed we never did get to the BHTFB LED*

    Maybe with a little imagination we could get there with RF, but i somehow doubt it. Is there scope for an El Reg informal competition**

    *Bloody Hell That's Fucking Bright LED

    ** infotition

    1. Andrew James

      Re: Does anyone remember

      Same with the whole notebook > ultrabook thing. "Ultra" is a hell of a step to take from "Note" ... where do you go from there, reasonably? Is Super better than Ultra? I wouldnt have said so. How about Super-Ultra? Hyperbook. Megabook. Ultrabook II™ ... seriously, why do they do this?

      1. Malcolm 1

        Re: Does anyone remember

        I'm quite looking forward to purchasing a "Tremendo-book" in the not-to-distant future.

      2. Wibble

        Re: Does anyone remember

        MilliBook, MicroBook, NanoBook, PicoBook, FemtoBook...

      3. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Does anyone remember

        As any fule noes, the next superlative after 'ultra' is 'supermega'. Personally, I am waiting for supermegabooks before splurging on a new laptop.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does anyone remember

      They do exist, and are used by many companies in products. Last year, my company quoted the assembly of outdoor lighting for parking lots using LEDs. Trust me, you cannot stare into these things when they are on without the cover.

    3. AdamT

      Re: Does anyone remember

      Oh yes. Happy hours spent pouring over the Maplin catalogue trying to work out whether "super bright" was better than "ultra bright" (and where the new-fangled "hyper bright" fitted into the general scheme) before parting with the carefully hoarded pocket money ...

  3. Christian Berger

    Well the problem with 60GHz

    It's a band well absorbed by air. So you won't run into the problem with interference since its range is fairly limited. I would assume this is less the case with 80GHz. Still it's not a frequency range many people have kit for.

  4. tony2heads


    Above 60GHz there is noticeable atmospheric absorption; this maybe good for short range stuff, but maybe a problem in a foggy region full of aerosol pollution. You can easily get 10dB/km at sea level, so a 10km line of sight link in a country area suffers 100dB loss.

    1. Christian Berger

      Re: Atmosphere

      I think there was a peak at absorption at 60 GHz. Still athmospheric absorption, can be good as it limits crosstalk between cells.

  5. Danny 14

    Microwaves before IR. Get the frequency up further, ramp up the power and have some alternative uses for your router.

    Cook your eggs and heat your coffee before getting to your desk.

    lower electrical bills and directly "heat" your body with your access point.

    Great anti theft deterrent, your burglar is the charred one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      School Boy Science Error

      We're already using microwave frequencies! Your router is already generating waves in the same frequency range as your microwave oven. Why do you think they cause so many problems?

  6. g.marconi

    Well actually FM radio came long after television. Early TV, say 1940's, was on about 51MHz and did not move into the UHF frequencies until 20years later.

    Speak to any experienced Radio Amateur for an informed and practical explanation of the effects of frequency and mode of transmission upon the useful range of radio signals. Unless some currently unknown method such as the "sub-space" transmissions as featured in science-fiction TV can be developed, realistic RF range at 80MHz is more likely to be measured in metres rather than kilometres.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "[...]realistic RF range at 80MHz is more likely to be measured in metres rather than kilometres.'

      I think you meant "80GHz" - considering I can listen to 89.1MHz FM about 60 miles from the transmitter around here.

  7. Collin Coleman

    I'll second the call for a competition

    and submit LHF (Ludicrously* High Frequency) as my entry.

    *Cap duly doffed to Mel Brooks

  8. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    I sneer at your LHF,...

    and submit the alternative FHF (I'm sure you can figure it out).

    Why not just call it SuperUltraViolet?

    At the moment most of the tech industry seems to be suffering from the same problem as the cosmetics industry. That problem is that their Marketing people (and customers) do not speak English very well.

    So we end up with the latest L'Orifice Anti-Wrinkle Bum Cream with Pro-Rectal-A Complex and 3 times as much Ultra-Bullshittium as their nearest competitor.

    Bloody razor adverts are even worse. I can't wait for my 14 Depleted Uranium tipped blades with microwave (2.45Ghz) waste hair incinerator and added L'Orifice Moisturising dispenser.

    50/80Ghz will only work if they go for DISTRIBUTED DYNAMIC ROOTING.

    Otherwise the range will be too short.

    If someone walked in front of you you would lose signal even at close range.

    Yes, I'm an ex-Ham, ex-Datacomms engineer, and used to play with 10Ghz "bean-cans" and other obscure waveguides for fun. Sometimes you can bounce signals off surfaces but more often than not they get absorbed rather than bounced.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: I sneer at your LHF,...

      The problem with SuperUltraViolet is that due to everyone and their dog taking unrelated terms and using them for new products is that it might be confused with an effective version of a digital download plus DRM scheme.

  9. scrubber

    Lance Armstrong

    I can't be the only one who thinks "narrow beams of radio directed at your pocket" is not the greatest idea ever.

    Mine's the one with the phone miles away from the nads.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Lance Armstrong

      It might solve your crabs problem though!

  10. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Detecting SMS

    "At a time I could tell you exactly when I was going to receive an SMS or a call, and that was 100% accurate with no false positives and more than 60% of the events detected."

    So could I, because my (early generation) AMPS phone would emit a quiet but distinct click when handshaking with the base station.

    In a later model phone, I could tell because the flashing led antenna my gf had popped onto it would light up.

    That was apart from the usual crapola from unshielded phones/speakers near GSM phones.

    None of the above needed supernatural powers - and the earpiece would get so hot on many early phones (especially Motorola TAC/Microtac/GSMTAC) that it'd give me a headache after a few minutes use (I used to regularly wonder if medical stats would see a spike in pinneal cancers 20 years on)

    As RF engineers we'd regularly get people telling us that XYZ antenna we were erecting was messing with their brains - and that was despite 'em not being cabled up, let alone connected to an active transmitter. It's amazing what the power of suggestion can achieve (Would I point a spare dish at a mildly paranoid acquaintance's window, then point it out a week or so afterward and suggest the illuminati were beaming mind control rays in order to get him to assassinate the Pope? I'm shocked, nay gobsmacked at the accusation!)

    In some cases, even the _thought_ of us putting up an antenna brought on a rash of rashes and headaches - well before any equipment arrived on site.

    In another case, an old 2 metre dish sitting wonkily on a couple of pallets was "transmitting up to spy satellites" (according to the local papers)

    WRT phones and nads: You have more to worry about due to case heat than any amount of legal RF emission - and the same goes for putting a notebook on your lap. They might be called laptops but it's a seriously bad idea to actually use them there for more than a few minutes at a time.

  11. Stuart21551

    "When FM radio came along it needed more space, so it sits around 88MHz in the "Very High Frequency" band which stretches to 300MHz."

    It does now. Originally "FM radio was assigned the 42 to 50 MHz band of the spectrum in 1940" (wikipedia)

    RCA needed to kill the business of Edwin Armstrong, inventor of FM, as he began to transmit in the 42 - 50 band. So RCA bribed the FCC commissioners with gifts of the 'new fangled' television sets to 'encourage them to change the FM band from the 42 to 50 Mhz band'.

    FCC dutifully complied, and Armstrongs business collapsed, with both transmitters and receivers obsoleted. Then RCA, headed by David Sarnoff, Armstrongs 'best friend', (would you believe?) simply stole the invention & started manufacturing FM sets. Armstrong sued, but deeper pockets RCA kept appealing losses, instead of paying the damages. Ah, glorious capitalism!

    Eventually Armstrong thought he had one last chance to win - he asked his wife to let him sell the apartment - she refused, he hit her, she walked out. Some weeks later he put on his hat & coat & went out - from the 13th floor window.

    Sarnoff declared that he did not kill Armstrong, but quickly negotiated a settlement with Armstrongs widow. ('Gunna deal with you, or deal with yer widder?')

    Sad fact is that most of RCA's deep pockets we due to its very profitable manufacture of Armstrongs previous amazing inventions - radios with feedback, regeneration, superheterodyning etc. Between crystal sets and high fidelity, most of the inventions are Armstrongs.

    Armstrong played a significant part in winning WW1 by providing the allies with unjammable communications, when axis powers only had jammable FM.

    Of course, things are much better for inventors now.


    Stuart Saunders,

    The Intellectual Property Rightful Owners Action Group.

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