A 90-second video of mobile tower in flames has been shared on social media with the claim that it is from Gujarat.

Some Twitter users have shared a 40-second clip of the video in question along with the text, “Gujrat में जला दिया गया 5G टावर”. Twitter user @NetajiSubhash_ drew 700 views for the clip.

On WhatsApp, the video has been labelled as “Forwarded Many Times”. A Facebook user who posted this video gained over 20,000 shares and close to two lakh views.

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Alt News has received multiple verification requests for the video on our WhatsApp helpline number (76000 11160) and our mobile application. Download our mobile application to send such forwards for verification. (Android, iOS)

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Old video

The viral video was uploaded by YouTube news channel HindiXpress on January 27, 2018. It reported that the incident took place in Ambala’s sub-district Barara.

A similar video was also aired by India TV on January 20, 2018, as a mobile tower in Goa’s Panjim on fire.

It is important to note that 5G hasn’t been rolled out for the public yet. Telecom major Bharti Airtel and equipment maker Huawei had stated in February 2018 that they “have successfully conducted India’s first 5G network trial under a test set up”, reported Business Standard. The government stated in a press note from May 4, 2021, that the department of telecommunications (DoT) gave permissions to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) for conducting trials for use and applications of 5G technology. However, DoT specified that the trials will be isolated and not connected with the existing networks of TSPs. Trials will be on a non-commercial basis. Although Bharti Airtel had demonstrated and orchestrated a LIVE 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad city earlier in January.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), an industry association representing India’s private telecom services providers, clarified last week that currently there are no 5G trials going on in the country and no 5G towers have been installed as yet, according to The Economic Times.

A video has been shared with the false claim that a 5G tower in Gujarat caught on fire. While Alt News was unable to find details of the incident, it took place three years ago and currently there are no 5G towers in India. Alt News has debunked multiple claims with respect to 5G in the past. Last month, we fact-checked the false claim that 5G radiation caused the second wave of COVID-19 in India.

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About the Author

Archit is a fact-checking journalist at Alt News since November 2019. Previously, he has worked as a producer at a TV news channel and as a reporter at a leading English-language daily. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at an NGO.