07/07/2022

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a warning letter to airlines warning carriers that the deadline for Verizon or AT&T to roll out 5G widely on C-band frequencies around airports is fast approaching and they should accelerate their adaptation efforts.

At these new frequencies, which Verizon and AT&T have purchased to roll out 5G networks further, external antennas at or near airports can interfere with the altimeters used to determine the plane’s position relative to the ground.

While there is much debate about the science and nature of the interference, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has restricted the deployment of 5G networks near airports as a precaution in coordination with wireless carriers. The temporary deadline for lifting this agreed restriction is July 5th Reuters obtained the memo sent by the head of the Federal Aviation Administration to airlines on the matter.

There are no guarantees that all major markets will remain flowing (guarantees)‘ wrote, noting that the two most vulnerable classes ofLess powerful planes“Altimeter upgrades must be installed quickly so that they are able to withstand C-band mission interference.

The third largest aircraft group currently will have to upgrade its altimeters next year because “From today’s perspective, Verizon and AT&T plan to roll out their entire networks by the end of 2023. “

Needless to say, airlines aren’t spending more on altimeter upgrades that can become outdated as the network continues to be deployed, while Verizon and AT&T are working with the FAA and FCC to adjust antenna locations, signal strength, and direction away from potential points of interference.

It’s a process that is sure to remain controversial, as Nolin Nolen of the Federal Aviation Administration noted:Without additional action by the FCC to limit transmission to power levels currently achievable, the potential for additional interference remains and we cannot provide any guarantees.. “

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