The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), has asked the government to conduct simulated flights to see if the C-band 5G actually interferes with the flights. Due to concerns of interference in flights because of 5G in C-band or mid-band (3.3-3.67 GHz in India), the government had asked the telcos not to deploy 5G near airports. However, according to a Business Standard report, the telecom industry body, COAI, which represents the Indian private telcos as well as many major telecom ecosystem players globally, is not happy with the blockage.
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COAI is of the view that if the airlines believe that there is anything to worry about, they can test it out by conducting simulated flights. The report added that many countries in Europe have deployed 5G in C-band near the airports and they have not yet found any issues with it. The concern was that 5G in the C-band would interfere with a key aircraft instrument called an Altimeter. It is an instrument to gauge the distance between the aircraft and the ground.
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If its readings are disturbed due to the interference of the 5G bands, then it would be a big issue for the pilot as well as the passengers inside. COAI has asked the government to push the airlines to conduct simulated tests to see if the interference is actually there. Altimeters operate on the C-band spectrum as well, but there's a huge difference in the frequencies they use and the frequencies the telecom operators are deploying. Altimteres operate on the 4200-4400 MHz band while the 5G is being deployed in the 3300-3670 MHz band.
It has been more than a year now and yet the telcos can't deploy 5G near airports. This affects the people travelling as well as people living near the 137 airports across the country.