Concerns still need addressing for 5G to fully be appreciated and benefited from warns Mobile UK
Despite early success in Mobile UK’s campaign to address the misinformation around 5G, more remains to be done.
That is according to Gareth Elliott, head of policy and communications at the trade association, who says work is far from over in improving knowledge about the benefits of the next-generation technology.
At the height of the pandemic last year, telecoms engineers were abused when deploying 5G masts and arson attacks were carried out on masts in relation to anti-5G conspiracy theories. One Merseyside man has since been jailed for such attacks.
That prompted Mobile UK to set up its #5GCheckTheFacts campaign, which seeks to address all the concerns consumers might have about the technology.
The campaign has been a success on social media, generating over a million impressions on Twitter, said Elliott.
“The societal benefits of 5G were being lost and there was also a lack of understanding between the difference in 4G and 5G,” he said.
“A lot of people just understood 5G to be faster and did not understand the need for this, so a big part of our work is around building case studies on 5G and showing people why it’s good.”
Key to this campaign has been addressing concerns about the technology in its early days, says Elliott.
This has included worries that 5G isn’t safe and can lead to health problems, plus improving understanding of how the technology works through the use of simple language.
“This has involved explaining to people exactly what radio waves are and how they are safe, using real life examples and where 5G sits within that – such as household appliances and technology such as WiFi.”
Elliott urged the mobile industry to continue discussing and addressing concerns about 5G to help the UK fully benefit from the connectivity.
“It’s not dead in the water yet [5G scepticism]. This is still a concern for people and can become embroiled into why people don’t want the masts put in place,” he said.
“The government has set out targets around 5G deployment and the important use cases.
“To meet these targets, we need to ensure people are comfortable with it. The benefits of it can only be achieved if the masts are built.”