Europe faces a new epidemic of telecoms mast arson

A complete lack of evidence, or support by the laws of physics, hasn’t stopped the belief that 5G spreads coronavirus from spreading rapidly.

Scott Bicheno

April 16, 2020

3 Min Read
Europe faces a new epidemic of telecoms mast arson
5g Antenna Coronavirus Covid-19 3D image

A complete lack of evidence, or support by the laws of physics, hasn’t stopped the belief that 5G spreads coronavirus from spreading rapidly.

Vodafone UK boss Nick Jeffrey wrote the following in a LinkedIn post: “It is deeply disappointing to learn that arsonists are still attacking our mobile phone masts – that’s 20 so far. One of the sites targeted over the weekend provides mobile connectivity to the Nightingale hospital in Birmingham.

“It’s heart-rending enough that families cannot be there at the bedside of loved ones who are critically ill. It’s even more upsetting that even the small solace of a phone or video call may now be denied them because of the selfish actions of a few deluded conspiracy theorists.

“Burning down masts means damaging important national infrastructure. In practice, this means families not being able to say a final goodbye to their loved ones; hard-working doctors, nurses, and police officers not being able to phone their kids, partners or parents for a comforting chat.

“Arsonists, please think about what you are doing and stop. Imagine if it were your mum or dad, your gran or grandad in hospital. Imagine not being able to see or hear them one last time. All because you’ve swallowed a dangerous lie.

“There is absolutely no link between 5G and coronavirus. There is no science based evidence 5G is harmful to human health. Read the evidence for yourselves:

The first such incidents in the UK seem to have been in Liverpool, but they quickly spread to Birmingham, Dagenham in East London and Belfast. Like the coronavirus itself, this rumour has no respect for borders, having crossed the Irish border into Donegal, and the English Channel to Belgium and the Netherlands (see below). It has even reached as far as Cyprus, but for the time being the inclination to set mobile phone masts on fire seems to be restricted to Europe.

View post on X

We are going through a time of global turmoil unprecedented in most people’s living memory and its very tempting to search for any reason and meaning amid the chaos. People with a natural inclination to conclude everything that happens must be part of some grand plan will inevitably be drawn towards those that make a living from suggesting them. Here’s one of our current favourites.

View post on X

Icke may have been confused by the fact that the oxygen absorption properties of 60 GHz waves are relatively high, but this refers to the fact that oxygen absorbs the waves, not the other way around. That’s why 60 GHz has bad propagation characteristics. Then again Icke may just have been told to say that by the interdimensional lizard people that chose him to spread their infinite wisdom.

There are constant attempts to censor ‘conspiracy theories’ around coronavirus online, but these are no less futile than all previous attempts to police public speech. For a while any suggestion that this pandemic originated in a Chinese laboratory faced censorship, but now the mainstream media is also claiming it, so what’s the point? Does it stop being a conspiracy theory once a big publisher runs with it?

There’s no question that the vandalism of mobile phone masts, many of which haven’t even been upgraded to 5G yet, is completely unjustifiable and, as Jeffrey said, actively damaging to the collective struggle. Anyone who does it should be prosecuted, of course, but you can’t stop irrational people believing irrational things. As ever censorship is not the answer and bad information should be countered with evidence, counterargument and reason.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

Get the latest news straight to your inbox.
Register for the newsletter here.

You May Also Like