Mobile networks criticise theories linking coronavirus to 5G

UK mobile network providers have warned against the spread of "baseless"conspiracy theories linking coronavirus to 5G, after videos purportedly showing masts on fire were posted on social media.

West Midlands Fire Service said eight firefighters attended an incident onThursday evening, involving a 70-foot tower on a telecommunications site in Birmingham - though a spokesman said the cause was yet to be identified and could not confirm whether the mast in question was 5G.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "We're aware of a fire involving aphone mast, but are awaiting further details on its cause."

Several videos claiming to show 5G towers on fire were posted to a page onFacebook, which encouraged others to do the same.

5G has been tested in the Midlands since early 2019 Credit: PA

Trials of 5G mobile connectivity began in the West Midlands in April 2019.

Mobile UK, the trade body which represents network providers, said it is"concerning that certain groups are using the Covid-19 pandemic to spread false rumours and theories about the safety of 5G technologies".

It continued: "Research into the safety of radio signals including 5G, which has been conducted for more than 50 years, has led to the establishment of human exposure standards including safety factors that protect against all established health risks."

The UK government has also responded, with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport insisting there was no link between coronavirus and the technology.

Elsewhere, O2 is issuing engineers working outside on essential networkprojects with a sign to explain they are a key worker, after reports of telecoms staff being verbally abused by members of the public.

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