The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has unveiled 50 airports that will be subject to 5G “Buffer zones” to reduce any risk of interference with aircraft equipment.
US mobile operators are preparing to deploy 5G services using mid-range “C-Band” spectrum which offers a compromise between the range and indoor penetration characteristics of short-range airwaves and the enormous capacity offered by high band frequencies.
AT&T, T-Mobile, US Wireless and Verizon all won licenses for C-band spectrum in an auction last year that raised $ 80 billion for the US government.
5G airport buffers
However, the FAA is concerned this 5G C band will affect key instruments. Specifically, he fears that 5G services using this spectrum could affect sensitive aeronautical electronics such as altimeters which rely on frequencies between 4.2 GHz and 4.4 GHz. The operators rejected the complaints.
Nonetheless, AT&T and Verizon Wireless have agreed to delay the launch of their respective services and to introduce measures that alleviate perceived problems, including airport buffer zones.
Airports in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Detroit, Dallas, Philadelphia, Seattle and Miami are covered by the new restrictions, with some airports being excluded because they do not allow low visibility landings or because 5G towers aren’t close enough to worry.
“The agency sought advice from the aviation community where the proposed buffer zones would help reduce the risk of disruption,” the FAA said. “Traffic volume, number of days of low visibility and geographic location taken into account in the selection.
“The wireless carriers have agreed to turn off transmitters and make other adjustments near these airports for six months to minimize potential interference from 5G with sensitive aircraft instruments used during landings by low visibility.
“The FAA continues to work with aerospace manufacturers and wireless companies to ensure 5G is deployed safely and to limit the risk of flight disruptions at all airports.”
Mobile operators and industry bodies say there is no credible evidence of interference, noting that other countries have deployed 5G C-band without problems and that there is a sufficient spectrum gap between the bandwidth allocated for mobile and aviation. Others wondered why the FAA had waited so long to voice its concerns.
Going through Reuters