Telecom: Industry In South Africa Concerned About 5G Misinformation
There is growing concern and apprehension in the South African telecommunications industry about the rapid growth of misinformation and conspiracy theories linked to the 5G network.
This distortion of truth and the 'fake news' that has been spreading has led to the destruction of mobile network towers by those who believe the current world pandemic COVID-19 is linked to 5G communications.
The country's mobile networks, the regulating authority ICASA and government have all noted with great concern the increasing number of attempts to burn down or otherwise destroy cell phone towers due to these unfounded theories.
Just last week, four mobile towers belonging to Vodacom and MTN in the province KwaZulu-Natal were torched, and there's been a lot of conversation on social media that 5G helps spread the deadly virus.
The mobile networks have come out saying that there's no credible evidence that links 5G to the virus's spread. Both the networks affected said they were monitoring the situation, hoping it doesn't flare up again.
The regulating authority of South Africa has also slammed these rumours and theories circulating about coronavirus and 5G.
In a statement released earlier this week, the chairman of ICASA Keabetswe Modimoeng urged people "not to be swayed by these conspiracy theories that are hell-bent on bringing instability and fear within the nation." Some of the frequencies trailed for 5G deployment by industry players were assigned before the novel coronavirus outbreak in 2020, said Modimoeng.
The minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has also had great concern about the issue, and she condemned the destruction of network infrastructure.
The South African Minister of Health also chirped into this conversation yesterday, saying "5G mobile networks do not spread Covid-19. Viruses cannot travel on radio waves and mobile networks. Covid-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks."