Based on several US passenger and cargo airlines, the new 5G service that’s going to be implemented from Wednesday may pose a significant threat to the aircraft. This can potentially render tens of thousands of American flights overseas. 

All the chief executives of the major US cargo and passenger airlines commented on the occurrence of a ‘catastrophic’ aviation crisis after AT&T and Verizon implements their new 5G services

According to the officials, the new C Band 5G about to set in could render a large number of aircrafts completely unusable. This could cause huge chaos for various US flights while potentially rendering tens of thousands of American flights overseas. 

What Actually Causing the Problem? 

In early 2021, the United States auctioned 5G bandwidth for the mid-range within the 3.7 to 3.98 GHz range to the carrier companies. This spectrum is known as the C Band, which was sold for $80 Billion

Now the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) suggests that the new 5G spectrum can pose a significant threat to instruments such as altimeters. This device is extremely important in measuring the distance between the ground and the height an airplane is flying. 

While the Altimeters operate at 4.2 – 4.4 GHz range, they fear the frequency sits too close to the range. Additionally, Altimeters can also facilitate automated landings while detecting any dangerous current known as wind shear. 

How Frequencies Regulate Services? 

This is basic science straight out of the textbook, inducing higher frequency always results in faster service. So, in the same way, to get the most out of 5G, operators would certainly want to operate at a higher frequency. With C Band frequencies being used by satellite radios as well, you can expect larger traffic for 5G. 

Why Other Countries Don’t Suffer the Same Fate?

Back in 2019, the European Union set standards for all mid-range 5G frequencies capped at 3.4 – 3.8 GHz. This is considerably lower than what the United States has set for itself. According to a report from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), this is only an issue specific to the United States. 

The Bottom Line 

Bear in mind, with more than 40 different countries throughout Europe and Asia gradually adopting the C Band for 5G, there isn’t any report on its adverse effects on radio altimeters. Now, these frequencies are kept at the same 4.2 – 4.4 GHz bandwidth. Let’s see where this debate goes and what really is troubling the US Airlines? 


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