Wednesday, May 29

Airbus and Boeing Ask US to Wait with New 5G Spectrum

The two largest aircraft manufacturers are asking the Biden government to delay again the rollout of C-band, a new 5G frequency that they believe could disrupt aircraft traffic.


According to Reuters, this concerns a letter from the CEOs of Airbus Americas and Boeing to US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg. In it, they ask to postpone the introduction of the C-band by operators AT&T and Verizon. According to the aircraft manufacturers, that rollout was already postponed to January 5 in November, but that is insufficient.

C-band is a specific piece of 5G spectrum, once used for satellite TV, which is now being released in the US. It is specifically about the block 3.7 GHz to 3.98 GHz, which has the advantage of giving a nice combination of coverage (low frequencies usually go over a larger area or more smoothly through walls) and speed (high frequencies give faster speeds). ).

But the aircraft manufacturers argue that the spectrum can cause interference on aircraft. Specific to the altimeter instruments (altimeters), which may require aircraft to be rerouted in case of problems. Both players previously suggested limiting the 5G signal with the C-band around airports and critical areas for that reason.

Although it remains mainly a discussion between two sectors, it sounds that 5G and the C-band are perfectly safe from the telecom lobby.

The aviation sector is traditionally very sensitive to (wireless) electronics. So, for example, you should still put your smartphone in aeroplane mode when taking off and landing so that no WiFi or mobile phone signals from hundreds of passengers are active at that time.

The industry is slower to adopt such technology anyway because it wants to ensure it won’t cause problems under any circumstances. After all, halfway through takeoff, there are few options for safe return if certain sensors or instruments are not working.

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