5G: Check The Facts

5G: Check The Facts

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Informing our landlords about new mobile technologies, like 5G, is important so we can help them understand our infrastructure and services better. We connected with Mobile UK, the trade association for the UK’s mobile network operators, to learn more about their 5G Check the Facts campaign and how it can help our landlords address any questions they may have. Read our blog with Gareth Elliott, Director of Policy and Communications at Mobile UK, who gives insight into 5G, the myths and the benefits that the next-generation mobile technology is providing to our communities.

What is the 5G Check the Facts campaign?

#5GCheckTheFacts is a public information campaign created by Mobile UK to highlight the benefits of 5G technology and to inform, educate, and dispel the myths surrounding the next-generation mobile networks. The campaign is endorsed by global bodies such as the Mobile Wireless Forum, and local authorities such as the Local Government Association, District Councils Network, County Councils Network, the GSMA, and the National Association of Local Councils.

Why has the campaign been created?

In 2020 Mobile UK launched the #5GCheckTheFacts campaign to fill a vacuum of information on 5G and challenge the narrative of misinformation.

At the height of the pandemic, the nation saw a spread of myths and conspiracy theories falsely linking the new technology to the spread of viruses including COVID-19.

Focusing on the provision of easy-to-use and accessible information, the campaign was designed to:

  • Raise awareness of 5G technology and its benefits while providing access to fact-checked, myth-busting and verified information from recognised sources such as the Who and Which?
  • Making the business case for investment to those in a position of influence.
  • Reassure the public about the safety of 5G and combatting conspiracy theories that had resulted in over 160 arson attacks on mobile infrastructure and over 300 incidences of abuse on telecommunications staff at the height of the pandemic.

Where can we find out more about 5G and the benefits it will provide to communities?

Mobile UK hosts a library of accessible, jargon-free content on its website to provide explanations and reassurances, alongside highlighting the benefits and opportunities 5G offers.

The industry body has also released a series of mini-packs that explain the key benefits that 5G technology will offer to popular industries including the manufacturing, healthcare, and automotive industries. Each mini-pack includes a selection of case study examples illustrating industry-specific 5G technology use cases.

Most recently Mobile UK released a report entitled, The Case for Local Authority Digital Champions. This report calls on the UK government to fund the Digital Champions for local authorities to:

  • Coordinate and prioritise digital connectivity.
  • Address digital exclusion as part of its levelling up agenda.

The report seeks to highlight how Digital Champions can deliver hugely positive outcomes in the smooth deployment of mobile networks and in building more effective relationships both within councils and with telecommunications providers.

There have been some conspiracy theories about new mobile technologies e.g. 5G. How can the campaign help overcome these myths?

Misinformation and conspiracy theories have real-world consequences that have previously led to arson attacks on mobile infrastructure and incidences of abuse towards telecoms engineers. The #5GCheckTheFacts campaign demonstrates how we are dependent on mobile connectivity to fill the information gap around the new technology.

By providing the public with content and collateral, free of technical jargon the campaign aims to tackle myths surrounding the technology, and since the campaign launch, Mobile UK has seen a steady decrease in public concern coupled with stronger awareness of 5G technology.

What can organisations and individuals do to help educate each other about 5G?

Engaging with bodies such as Mobile UK and others with the shared goal of improving mobile connectivity at a local level, bridging the technology skills gap, and reducing digital exclusion is the best starting place.

Mobile UK has collaborated with many businesses offering them a platform to discuss how the new technology can be used across different sectors leading to improved connectivity, more usage applications and innovation.

Anyone with materials or examples of 5G usage to share can get in touch with Mobile UK as well as visit the website, www.mobileuk.org to engage and share the public awareness campaign.