NATE: Mostly uneventful weekend on 5G protest front

cellular tower
Wireless infrastructure has been the target of attacks around the world. (Getty Images)

While the nation continued to see massive protests across the country in support of Black Lives Matter, this past weekend was quiet and mostly uneventful on the 5G protest front according to NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association.

NATE had heard that protests were planned for Saturday, June 6, associated with Global 5G Protest Day. Given that many of its member companies were expected to be working over the weekend, the organization wanted to get the word out.

The organization, whose members include carriers, tower companies and general contractors, sent an advisory bulletin to its members on Thursday so that they could plan ahead.  

NATE President and CEO Todd Schlekeway said the association wanted to be proactive and give members a chance to talk with their employees/tower crews and others prior to Saturday. NATE is heavily focused on safety and many of the estimated 1,000 NATE member companies are busier than ever right now as essential service providers of communications infrastructure. 

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Schlekeway said there may have been a small 5G event in downtown Los Angeles and a few other markets, but he had not heard from any NATE member companies about issues at tower sites and took that as a good sign.

Ericsson said last week that due to the current situation in the U.S. and Canada, it decided that field staff would not do any work onsite during the weekend, and they would be making exceptions only when it came to emergency work.

RELATED: Ericsson suspends weekend field work amid reports of 5G protests

NATE’s bulletin came after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a warning several weeks ago to telecom companies, wireless contractors and the technician workforce that cell tower/wireless infrastructure sites could be potentially subject to attacks based on some incidents at tower sites around the world, including Canada. Vandalism to sites in Europe have been well publicized. Earlier this year, numerous cell towers in the Memphis, Tennessee, area were set on fire.

RELATED: Vandals strike U.K. towers, prompting GSMA to reiterate no link between 5G and coronavirus

NATE’s warning also was issued the same day FCC General Counsel Thomas Johnson Jr. penned an opinion in the Washington Post about the harm caused when people stoke fears about the supposedly harmful health effects of 5G. The same kinds of fears were brought up during 3G and 4G deployments and seem to ignore the FCC RF emission standards for antennas and devices.

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