In the New York Times article mentioned earlier, journalists Adam Satariano and Davey Alba report that threats against telecom employees and equipment are too widespread to ignore. BT Group, a telecom company based in London, reports at least eleven incidents of vandalism while Vodaphone reports more than fifteen incidents. The reporters explain that while these attacks incur major damage on existing telecom infrastructure, actual 5G equipment has been unaffected.
In a statement authored by EE (a division of BT Group), O2, Three, and Vodaphone, the four major UK telecom providers pointed out that “There is no scientific evidence of any link between 5G and coronavirus.”
The statement continues that the claims "have led to the abuse of our engineers and, in some cases, prevented essential network maintenance taking place." The statement concludes by reminding the public of the vital role of network connection and urges anyone who witnesses the abuse of telecom workers to report the incident to local authorities.
Having a better idea of what the standard will look like is a good first step to understanding the commercialization of 5G, but there are also a number of other challenges in both component and system design as well as device validation and test that may impact the speed of deployment of these new technologies.
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