How 5G Sparked a Battle Between Airlines and Wireless Carriers
9:20

How 5G Sparked a Battle Between Airlines and Wireless Carriers

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Speaker 1: The, the flying public and the public at large anticipating 5g have paid the price due to a lack of the government leading the way. And we need to expect that we achieve a worldwide solution to this, not just some thing that solves problems in the United States Speaker 2: When the new 5g signals went live in the us airlines and aviation regulators [00:00:30] warned they could interfere with key equipment and airplanes, jeopardizing safety, but carriers like at and T and Verizon said the concerns were overblown following pushback at and T and Verizon adjusted their 5g launch plans during the rollout limiting deployments around certain airports. Since then the federal aviation administration has cleared about 90% of commercial aircraft to operate in 5g areas, but concerns haven't stopped there. Fixes have mostly been temporary and a long term [00:01:00] solution has yet to roll out. So why is the aviation industry so worried about 5g and how long could it take for a more permanent solution to be implemented? Here's everything you need to know Speaker 2: In January at T Verizon, it started turning on 5g service across the us using what's called the C band spectrum. A newly acquired spectrum. That's different from the other airwaves already being used for 5g services. C band offers a better mix of speed [00:01:30] and coverage compared to existing 4g and 5g cellular networks. The problem is the aviation industry is worried. 5g radios using C band will interfere with aircraft radio S which measure Plains altitude, altimeter receivers operate in the 4.2 gigahertz to 4.4 gigahertz range on the radio frequency spectrum. While the C band of spectrum used her 5g is between 3.7 gigahertz and 3.98 gigahertz, which is basically right next door. But [00:02:00] with a pretty significant side yard, a malfunctioning T is a problem at any point during a flight, but it can be especially dangerous and foggy or hazy conditions. When a plane is landing and the pilot can't clearly see a runway in those circumstances, the pilot would rely on the altimeter to determine the distance between the ground and the airplane to land safely. Otherwise there's a risk of crashing. The is now telling airlines that under certain circumstances they shouldn't be landing at specific airports using radio [00:02:30] altimeters due to potential interference. Speaker 3: They are also clearing planes, uh, model by model. So they are saying, for example, for this Boeing 7 77, the radio alt is not gonna be served by the 5g. It's okay for you to laugh. So they're working clearing the different planes, but there are many different kinds of radio imeter manufacturers, many different kinds of models. So they have to work very hard to be clearing those one by one. But the [00:03:00] FAA is making sure that the air space is absolutely safe Speaker 2: At and T and Verizon spent a combined 70 billion in a federal communications commission auction last year to acquire the spectrum needed to roll out 5g services. Following safety concerns from the aviation industry, the companies agreed to delay work deployments twice once in November and again, in early January, as they negotiated with the department of transportation and the FAA, They finally deployed their 5g service [00:03:30] in late January, but agreed to delay turning on some 5g towers near airport runways, but the carriers were noticeably frustrated in January at and T said, in a statement we have voluntarily agreed to temporarily defer turning on a limited number of towers around certain airport. Runways the company added. We are frustrated by the FAAS inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5g technology without disrupting aviation services. Verizon shared a similar statement. Speaker 2: [00:04:00] This recent 5g deployment didn't come as a surprise to anyone. The FCCS guidelines for the rollout were put in place about two years ago with each side, essentially waiting to see if the other party would tackle the issues at hand. The FCC has a proceeding that lets other of government agencies, industries, or anyone else comment publicly on upcoming changes. Then it reviews the record to see if there are any concerns that need to be addressed. In this case, [00:04:30] the FAA in aviation industry suggested concerns, but the FCC reviewed those reports and ultimately said they disagreed with the conclusions since the data was insufficient Speaker 4: For thes that are susceptible to this, the airline should incur the cost of you replacing them or installing filters. Um, you know, clearly the airlines would prefer either the government to step in and do this using maybe the auction proceeds are that the, um, you know, the wireless carriers would, would, would do this. Um, so I think that is, that is one of the issues and sort [00:05:00] of who encourage the costs of ensuring that this isn't a problem. Speaker 2: Other countries have managed to roll out 5g without the same pushback we're seeing in the us. Thanks to safety measures, put in place ahead of time. For example, in November, Canada placed restrictions on 5g transmitters. That includes exclusion zones around certain airports where 5g based stations can't operate protection zones with limited 5g operations and a requirement for 5g antennas to tilt down instead of horizontally or upward [00:05:30] so that they don't interfere with radiometers France also implemented 5g exclusion zones near airports, some immediate, but mostly temporary solutions have been put in place to mitigate the issue, including not deploying 5g around certain runways or lowering the power that's submitted from 5g base stations. Speaker 1: What we're looking at here is a situation where government should have been leading the way, uh, on this and bringing the stakeholders, even if it was grabbing their [00:06:00] ties and pulling them forward, the stakeholders should have been, uh, more proactive as well. Speaker 4: One of the other things that, you know, that was done in, in these, these rules for 5g is, is there's something called a guard band. That's a amount of spectrum between the 5g band and the band of spectrum used by the radio altimeters. And so there's a, um, 220 megahertz guard band that's used. So there are, are [00:06:30] parts of the world where, where larger guard bands are used, but then there's parts of the world like in Japan, where it's even a, a smaller guard band. And then finally you can install these things called, uh, filters, um, on the Aircrafts to filter out these, these signals from, from 5g, but there's a cost to doing that. Speaker 2: The FAA has now cleared about 90% of commercial aircraft to operate in 5g areas and has established buffer zones around major us airports, including San Francisco, international airport, [00:07:00] O'Hare international airport and Dallas Fort worth international airport. Speaker 3: To be honest, I think it's gonna take a long time, uh, not just because of what's happening right now. Uh, wireless companies have agreed to have, uh, lower power for six months then after that may be more problems. Speaker 2: So what could a long term solution look like first? The FAA and aviation industry will continue to identify which [00:07:30] Ts are vulnerable to interference after any problematic, ALS are spotted, they'll need to be changed or equipped with filters. So they're no longer set to 5g interference. There also needs to be a set of standards for alls going forward so that any new devices have the right filtering technology to function alongside 5g signals. This will call for more collaboration between the wireless and aviation industries and the regulators. This is especially important as the FCC looks to free up more spectrum for commercial use [00:08:00] in the future, there are different blocks of CBAN that'll be rolled out in the coming years. The current 5g deployment is part of that first block. A second block is slated to roll out at the end of 2023. Speaker 3: So each time these additional bands of spectrum get rolled out the 5g, each of which is closer to what is being used by the radiometers. Uh, then there are going to be additional problems. Also, it takes a while to get the radiometers [00:08:30] out of a plane. You can't just take it in and out the way you can take an easy pass out. These radiometers are tied in with the navigation systems Speaker 2: Anyone's guess exactly how long it might take for a long term fix to be implemented. In the meantime, should airline passengers be worried about any of this? Speaker 1: I, I really don't see anything that is there to worry passengers. In fact, I think the pastor, uh, the flying public should take some assurance that this was caught and, and, [00:09:00] and was acted on ultimately in the Nick of time, but it did take some, you know, delays to get there. Speaker 2: And on the bright side, there's hope that this messy situation could pave the way for better communication between the FAA and FCC moving forward.

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