US aviation industry makes last-ditch C-Band 5G plea - Mobile World Live

US aviation industry makes last-ditch C-Band 5G plea

18 JAN 2022

The US aviation industry painted a picture of chaos and warned of a catastrophic crisis if 5G services are deployed in C-Band spectrum, as it reportedly again moved to block launches which have already been twice delayed.

Reuters reported chief executives of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and others had demanded swift action to avoid widespread disruption to services.

Potential interference between C-Band 5G networks with radio altimeters could result in “the vast majority” of the “travelling and shipping public” to be grounded, the news agency stated.

The executives warned of disruption to supply chains and even deliveries of medical supplies, Reuters reported.

Verizon and AT&T are set to activate 5G in C-Band spectrum tomorrow (19 January).

The dispute between the aviation industry and mobile operators has dragged on for months and resulted in the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposing a number of measures, including the establishment of buffers around certain airports and restrictions on the use of radio altimeters in some locations.

Altimeters and flight systems operate in the 4.2GHz to 4.4GHz band, while the operators are on the brink of initial launches in the 3.7GHz to 3.98GHz range, which is deemed too close for comfort by some.

While the mobile industry cites France as an example of safe coexistence of C-Band services, FAA officials note the spectrum involved is further removed from the frequencies employed in aircraft and French 5G power levels are much lower.



Anne Morris

Anne Morris is a freelance journalist and contributes news and analysis to Mobile World Live.

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