American providers postpone introduction of 3.7GHz-5G due to airports

The two US telecom providers Verizon and AT&T are delaying the rollout of C-Band-5G for two weeks, after a request from the US government and the airline industry. This sector fears that the higher 5G frequencies could disrupt altimeters.

The telecom providers now want to offer the C-Band-5G from January 19, Reuters writes. Initially, the providers wanted to sell the 5G service from Wednesday 5 January. The telecom companies want to use the coming weeks to conduct research with the telecom sector and the government into the disruptive effects of 5G and how these can be prevented.

The problem revolves around the 5G frequencies from 3.7GHz to 3.98GHz, writes the Federal Aviation Administration. These are too close to aircraft altimeters, which use the 4.2GHz to 4.4GHz frequency band. The FAA therefore banned the use of landing systems in regions where 5G frequencies could disrupt these systems at the end of last year. These systems are normally only used during low visibility periods; aircraft may therefore not land under this measure if visibility is poor and 3.7GHz-5G is active.

The FAA has said it has been warning about the disruptive effects of 5G since 2015 and thanks the two carriers for voluntarily delaying the use of the frequencies. The providers had previously promised to set up exclusion zones around airports, where the C-Band-5G frequencies will not be used. However, the FAA does not think these exclusion zones are large enough. The distribution of C-Band-5G has also been postponed in the Netherlands, here because satellite communication company Inmarsat uses the frequency band.