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Three UK and EE Protect 5G Mobile Masts with SmartWater

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020 (3:32 pm) - Score 12,255
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The Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL) organisation, which runs the joint network sharing venture between mobile operators EE (BT) and Three UK, has moved to protect 4G and 5G based mobile masts by deploying SmartWater technology to forensically tag vandals who attack their infrastructure.

Sadly one of the more disturbing aspects of the COVID-19 crisis has been the tendency of a small but extreme group of people to ignore common sense, usually in the mistaken belief that the new generation of 5G based mobile networks have helped to create, or even directly transmit, the virus.

Both theories lack any credible scientific foundation (we’ve covered this before in our fact check), but sadly that didn’t stop the spread of this particularly bizarre conspiracy theory. Indeed it even drove some groups to attack both mobile masts and assault telecoms engineers across the UK.

Mobile operators have responded to this by beefing up the security and surveillance of their various sites. As part of that MBNL has also extended their existing relationship with SmartWater to include masts. The technology sprays criminals with a forensically tagged water that shows up under ultraviolet light and can be used to link them back to the crime scene.

Gary Higgins, COO of SmartWater, said:

“At SmartWater we understand the importance of connectivity and the value of communication, we are proud of the work we have done to help the Telecoms Industry protect itself against criminal behaviour. Anyone attacking MBNL Mast Sites now, thanks to our cutting edge technology, run the risk of being forensically linked to the scene of their crime.”

Openreach have also used this technology for years to help protect some of their copper cables and network sites. Meanwhile SmartWater claims that their technology has already reduced incidents of metal and cable theft across the MBNL estate by 77% and they now hope to have a similar impact with masts.

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