US aviation organizations stateside have secured an agreement from a number of telecom companies to delay the nationwide rollout of 5G cellular service for 14 days. Concerns that the new technology would negatively impact aircraft security were behind the move. The situation even prompted threats from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ground or divert flights if 5G execution went ahead at the planned date.
5G is the newest generation of cellular networks and is expected to offer new levels of speed and power to users. To execute the upgrade from 4G to 5G, cellular networks would have to divert operations onto a new band of radio frequencies. The US aviation industry’s concern is that aircraft’s radio altimeters, which help pilots land in low-visibility situations, could be disturbed by 5G.
Although 5G and airlines already co-exist in a number of countries, with no reported incidents, the FAA has said that this is because power levels were reduced around airports and the cellular and aviation industries have worked together prior to deployment. Therefore, the delay will give the FAA more time to analyze the situation on behalf of airlines.
The move has been welcomed by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) which has said,” The delay will provide a fuller understanding about the impact of 5G signals on critical aviation safety technologies, including their potential for radar altimeter interference.” NBAA has committed to providing information on 5G deployment as the information becomes available. Click here for more.
Let’s hope the aviation industry and communications networks can reach a mutually beneficial solution soon.
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