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The UK’s mobile network has reported that a further 29 cases of phone masts being targeted in suspected arson attack over the Easter weekend.

One of the targeted masts serves the just opened Birmingham’s Nightingale Hospital.at the NEC Birmingham.

Trade group, Mobile UK, said that it had been notified over incidents in England, Wales and Scotland.

One of the targeted sites provides mobile connectivity to one of the hospitals in Birmingham, in the West Midlands.

The figures represent a lower incidence rate than had been the case in the previous period.

Attacks on 5G masts pre-date the coronavirus pandemic, but there are concerns that a surge in the amount of vandalism has been caused by conspiracy theories, which falsely claim the deployment of 5G networks has caused or helped to accelerate the spread of Covid-19.

A spokesperson for Mobile UK said: “Theories that are being spread about 5G are baseless and are not grounded.

“Continuous attacks on mobile infrastructure risks lives and, at these challenging times, the UK’s critical sectors must be able to focus all of their efforts on fighting this pandemic”.

Full fibre network construction is now underway to connect public sector premises across the City of Wolverhampton.

It forms part of the council’s overall Digital Infrastructure Strategy to improve broadband connectivity to enable smart technology and accessibility for all, improved digital infrastructure complementing electric vehicle growth and sustainable transport.

The council last month announced the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, CityFibre, as its preferred rollout partner.

They are currently laying fibre in Dudley Street while re-paving works take place in this city centre location.

In the coming months CityFibre, and its build partner Comex 2000, will be carrying out works across the rest of the city to provide future-proof Gigabit connectivity that will upgrade the delivery of frontline public sector services.

Construction of the network to serve public sector premises, including council sites, libraries, Wolverhampton Homes offices and schools, is expected to be completed by spring 2021.

It comes after the council secured £4.9million government funding from the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) Local Full Fibre Network project.

Taking in around 170 sites, the new network will help to upgrade the delivery of frontline public sector services, lowering operational costs and boosting productivity. It will also help meet the growing demand from residents for digital services in public buildings, support the improvement of educational resources, and bridge the digital divide.

Cabinet Member for Resources, Councillor Louise Miles, said: “The development of digitally innovative and future-proofed learning environments and curricula is vital to ensure that our learners leave school as some of the most technologically capable young people in the country.

“Better connectivity in public buildings is essential to ensure residents are digital included.

“Our libraries are committed to giving people access to new and emerging digital technology through the provision of computers, free WiFi and other digital technologies and developing digital skills.”

Head of Public Sector Sales at CityFibre, Andy Nash, added: “We are working closely with the City of Wolverhampton Council to deliver a much-needed upgrade to crucial public sector infrastructure that will serve the area for decades to come. A full fibre network will ensure the people and businesses of Wolverhampton will be able to access an increasing amount of modern, digital services from their local authority.”

Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said: "Thanks to our funding more and more vital public sector sites across Wolverhampton will now have 21st century gigabit speed broadband. This will be a real boost for the city's libraries, educational services and public buildings, with the benefits felt throughout the wider region. This is all part of our plans to level up the country by investing in world-class infrastructure and connectivity."

 

Chinese telecommunication company, Huawei, has said that disrupting its involvement in the rollout of the 5G network “will do Britain a disservice”.

In January, the UK government approved a limited role for Huawei in building the country’s new data network. But in March, a backbench rebellion within the Conservative party signalled efforts to overturn the move.

In an open letter, the firm also said it was focused on keeping the UK connected during the coronavirus crisis.

But the pandemic may increase pressure on the government to take a tougher line on the company.

In the letter, Victor Zhang, Huawei’s UK chief, said that home data use has increased by at least 50% since the virus first hit the UK, placing “significant pressure” on telecoms systems.

Huawei says that it has been working with partners like BT, Vodafone and EE to deal with the growth and has also set up three new warehouses around the country to ensure that spare parts stay in supply.

Zhang also says that the current crisis has highlighted how many people, especially in rural communities, are “stuck in a digital slow lane”.

He warns that excluding Huawei from any further role in 5G would be a mistake.

 

It was announced today that MCM Comic Con Birmingham—the celebration of comic books, cosplay, video games, anime, movies and books—will be postponed due to COVID-19.

“Having monitored the situation around COVID-19 constantly over these last few weeks and taking on board the feedback from the MCM community, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone MCM Comic Con Birmingham. The show is now scheduled to run from 27-28th June 2020 at the NEC, Birmingham."

Originally scheduled for 21st-22nd March 2020, any ticket(s) already purchased will still be valid for the new MCM Comic Con dates and no further action is needed on the part of attendees. Should any person be unable to attend the new dates or have additional queries, they can contact the Reedpop Customer Services team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Keep an eye on the official MCM Comic Con website for further updates and information.

 

Mobile phone masts in two UK cities have been torched over “baseless” claims that coronavirus is linked to 5G.

 

Engineers working on the new generation of wireless communication technology were also said to be abused.

 

Several videos have been put out on social media claiming to show 5G masts being set alight. They were posted on Facebook to encourage others to do the same.

 

As such, mobile network providers in the UK have warned against the false theory.

 

Masts were set on fire in Sparkhill, in Birmingham before it also happened in Melling, in Merseyside.

 

Mobile UK, the nation’s trade body which represents the network providers, said that the rumours and false claims were “concern”.

 

They said: “More worryingly is the fact that some people are abusing our key workers and making threats to damage infrastructure under the pretence of claims about 5G.

People’s monthly data allowance isn’t infinite, and with movies to stream, music to download, and social media to surf, it can be easy to burn through our allowance in no time at all.

To help combat the dreaded data drain, mobile experts at Mobiles.co.uk have put together five handy tips to make your data go further each month.

Change your social media settings

Scrolling through social media may be a great way to pass the time, but it can be one of the biggest drains on our data, thanks to the video-heavy content.

Videos on Facebook and Instagram are set to auto-play by default so even if you don’t stop to watch the videos, data is being used to buffer them. This can be changed in the settings of both of the apps.

To stop videos playing automatically on Facebook select Menu > Settings & Privacy > Settings > Media and Contacts > Videos and photos and set ‘Auto-play- to ether ‘On Wi-Fi Connections Only’ or ‘Never Auto-play Videos’. To do this on Instagram tap onto your profile then go to Menu > Settings > Mobile Data Use and enable ‘Use Less Data’.

Turn off push notifications

Push notifications may not be the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to limiting your data consumption, but it’s a small change which can certainly make a difference. Some apps use data to send notifications to your device, so it’s worth turning these off for apps you don’t use frequently to cut back on the data being used.

To turn off push notifications on an iPhone go to Settings > Notifications and select the apps you want to disallow notifications for.

To do disable push notifications on an Android device select Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications. Under ‘Recently sent’ you’ll find a list of apps that have recently sent notifications where you can turn off all notifications for specific apps.

Download content on Wi-Fi

Restricting your usage doesn’t mean you have to go without your favourite podcasts, songs or TV shows. Make the most of your Wi-Fi connection and download content to enjoy offline when you’re out and about.

Going offline doesn't mean an end to your streaming services either. Both Spotify and Apple Music allow you to download music to your device to enjoy offline, and watching TV won’t be a problem too thanks to Netflix’s download capabilities

If you’re a fan of podcasts and an iPhone user, simply tap on the + icon next to a podcast while connected to Wi-Fi and it will be downloaded to your phone.

Restrict background data

Even when you’re not using your device, your apps eat away at your allowance by reloading in the background, with social media and news apps taking the biggest chunk of our data.

Although having updated apps may be convenient, the continuous, automated refreshing means that this is one of the worst culprits for both a battery and data drain. Luckily, there’s an easy way to reduce this activity and save on your usage. Here’s how:

Restrict background activity on iPhone:

Open Settings, go to General > Background App Refresh > Background App Refresh and choose either ‘Wi-Fi’ or ‘Off’.

Restrict background activity on Android:

Go to Settings > Select Data Usage > Cellular Data Usage. Tap on the app you want to stop using background data and disable ‘Background data’.

Keep an eye on your usage

It may sound obvious, but keeping tabs on your data usage is essential if you often run short. Most networks come with their own app where you can monitor your allowance and see when it will be refreshed. This is particularly helpful for budgeting your data and ensuring you stay under your limit.

Andrew Cartledge, Mobile Experts at Mobiles.co.uk said: “Cutting down on unnecessary data usage is a great way to make sure you will always have enough to do the things you really want to do with your allowance.

“By following these tips, we hope that smartphone users can make sure that they will never run out of data, allowing them to save money and make the most of what their phone has to offer.”