The United States evaluates how the 5G speed increase causes “interference with airplanes”

A resolution of the US Federal Aviation Administration indicates that there are risks of interference between the radio signal used by the air system and the 5G network.


The growing demand for 5G connectivity in the world causes that, sometimes, there are conflicts that cannot be ignored . A recent request from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has raised doubts about the possible level of interference from the new telecommunications network on the stability of the frequency used by aircraft.

The FAA report states that the implementation of a better speed for the 5G network in the C band of the spectrum assigned to AT&T and Verizon, which are between 3.7 and 4.2GHz , could cause interference with radio altimeters used in commercial aircraft cabins, whose assigned frequency is between 4.2 and 4.4GHz.

The entity points out that the proximity between these blocks would affect the measurement of the radio altimeter , a system that tells the pilot how far it is from the ground, an essential parameter for landing.

Radio interference, 5G and aircraft

The FAA report notes that US airlines have invested more than $ 80 billion in early 2021 to access these optimized frequencies for radio use. This decision could delay the launch of a new technology that has been recently enabled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the benefit of the American people.

This delay, while allowing a review of air safety, could have a negative impact on the telecommunications business and the expansion of 5G, a technology that China has developed on a larger scale and more efficiently.

400 MHz margin

Analysts point out that the gradual implementation of the C-band for telecommunications will allow an effective margin of up to 400 MHz to be maintained between the bands assigned to 5G and commercial aviation. In this first phase, a portion of the spectrum between 3.7 and 3.8 GHz will be enabled.

This gap, in terms of radio frequency, could be more than enough for both implementations to coexist without interrupting each other’s work. However, it seems that the excessive care that the FAA has on the subject directly confronts it with the intentions of the FCC, an entity that handles the efficient distribution of the radioelectric spectrum in the United States with great suspicion.