Interim 5G limits were put in place at airports last year as a result of security concerns raised about harmful interference with radio altimeters on aeroplanes. Now, a group that speaks for the airline industry has advocated for the establishment of lifelong limits. It's the most recent twist about what started as a humiliating dispute between two distinct governmental organisations.
There May Be Continuous 5G Limits in Airports
The widespread adoption of cable and fibre-based TV services saw the effective demise of satellite TV. That meant that the frequencies previously used for those broadcasts could be freed-up for alternative use. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which determined that the airwaves were appropriate for 5G use and sold off the licenses to use them, regulates the use of radio transmissions. Together, Verizon and AT&T spent $68 million to buy the license to what was known as the 5G C-band.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a different federal entity, seemed to learn about this information after the fact. It warned that there was a chance that radio altimeters could be interfered with by 5G C-band radiation. Airliner radio navigation systems and certain other types of aircraft use radio signals that are bounced off the ground to time the return signal and calculate the height of the aircraft. This is employed during the final flight and landing because it is substantially more precise than pneumatically altitude. In low visibility situations, it is very significant.
Since 2015, the FAA has expressed worries about the possible risks of C-band disturbance, but it doesn't appear that the department informed the FCC of these issues until it was almost too late. As a result, the two got into an extremely noticeable and awkward argument. Only earlier radio altimeters appeared to be in danger, and even for those, there was less evidence. A final agreement was reached, placing interim 5G C-band limits around 50 significant airports, following a series of proposed delays and compromises. The aviation sector was given until July 2023 to inspect its older aircraft and update its radio altimeters as necessary.