7 April 2020

Ofcom update on 5G vandalism

There have been reports of 5G masts in some areas of the UK being vandalised and of telecoms engineers being harassed by members of the public.

This is because some people incorrectly blame 5G for being linked to the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

We would like to emphasise that there is no relationship whatsoever between 5G mobile signals and the coronavirus.

Vandalism to mobile phone masts mean other services using those masts stop working. These services could include 3G, 4G and mobile call services. This means people can’t call the emergency services or contact their family. It could also mean that some of the communications equipment used by the emergency services is unable to work properly.

This poses a serious threat to people’s safety.

So, please help us support our broadband and mobile networks so people can stay safe, and stay connected.

Our previous testing of 5G safety

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak there had been other concerns raised about the potential health effects of 5G.

As the communications regulator, one of our jobs is to make sure mobile phone signals are within safe levels for people to use.

We’ve carried out these tests for a number of years, and recently have measured 5G mobile signals across different areas of the UK.

We measured 5G sites in ten UK cities, focusing on areas where mobile use is likely to be highest. At every location, levels were small fraction of what is recommended in international guidelines.

In the UK, Public Health England (PHE) has advised the Government on 5G. It said: ‘the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to guidelines and, as such, there should be no consequences for public health’.

For more information see the full results of our 5G testing.

See also...