Dubai | Mohamed Saieed | IOT Consultant in the Middle East and AI Expert
This project is currently met with strong opposition from a U.S. airline group.
5G is the new technology for Internet connections and mobiles, which allows for large data download speeds and an increase in the number of connected devices simultaneously. This network in America has been adopted with frequencies known as C-Band.
The problem arose because the 5G-certified frequencies are close to those used in aircraft, specifically in Altimeters devices responsible for measuring aircraft’s altitude from the ground in landings. Altimeters show their importance in weather disturbances and help the aircraft locate the landing. Reservations are caused by the fear that 5G frequencies interfere with those of Altimeters, which may affect the safety of aircraft and passengers upon landing.
A U.S. airline group has warned that the 5G network could delay or cancel more than 1,000 flights in bad weather for fear of aircraft safety due to possible frequency interference. This may mean that a large number of aircraft will remain trapped in their runways without use. Boeing and Airbus have also asked the U.S. government to delay the introduction of 5G for fear of frequency interference.
This is not the case in other countries because of the way 5G is introduced and applied. The situation in America is rather special. In Europe, for example, 5G operates at lower frequencies than its Counterparts in America, thus risking less interference. Not to mention that some countries took proactive precautions before introducing 5G.
The FAA has established a safety zone for about 50 airports in America, meaning 5G providers will have limited activity there. They also identified airports where GPS could be used instead of the Altimeter device in the aircraft in landings. In contrast, U.S. airlines find this insufficient to prevent interference in frequencies.
The controversy in America is evident in the direction of the FAA and the FCC. The FCC communications authority responsible for regulating the use of frequencies examined the subject in 2020 and concluded that the two systems could work together without damage. The FAA, which is responsible for regulating air traffic, considers the flight unsafe. The tensions between the two bodies continued for a long time without a lasting solution.
Verizon and AT&T t carriers had purchased the right to use frequencies earlier for $80 billion. The launch date for the 5G has been postponed more than once. Last time I postponed two weeks for the picture to become clearer. They also announced a postponement of its introduction in areas near some airports. Telecommunications companies, in turn, argue that the 5G network was launched in about 40 countries around the world with little problem.
To further complicate the problem, some aircraft are old, including Altimeters, which may mean that their accuracy may have receded somewhat over time. The renovation of these devices means additional cost to airlines still suffering from the Corona pandemic.
Time will reveal how to solve the problem that is taking place these days in America between airlines and telecommunications companies. There is a disagreement between government agencies, as well as different 5G frequencies used in America from other regions of the world. Let’s wait and see.