Friday, September 22

Why the 5G rollout is causing aviation problems in the United States but not in Europe

Everyone promised them very happy In the United States with the deployment of their new 5G networks: the so-called C-band promised to overcome the limitations of the mmWave band, but its launch has caused real chaos there for the potential disruptions with aircraft altimeters.

The funny thing is that in Europe there have been no such problems, and the deployment of these networks in that band has gone smoothly. What makes the deployment in Europe different from the one that has taken place in the United States? Let’s talk about frequencies.

Your frequencies are higher than mine

5G technology makes use of several frequency bands, but the one that promised the most speed was the millimeter band, also known as mmWave.

The problem with this technology is that its coverage is often limited to very limited areas, and that’s where the C-band comes in, which even being less efficient In consumption, it offers greater coverage and allows a broader deployment of these high-speed mobile networks.

The deployment of this band, however, has been different in the United States and in Europe, and the key lies in the frequency ranges used: while in the US frequencies between 3.7 and 3.98 GHz have been usedIn Eiropa, somewhat lower and slower frequencies ranging from 3.4 to 3.8 GHz have been used.

That is where the problem arises: the altimeters of aircraft such as the Boeing 777 that could be interfered with by these signals make use of the frequency range that goes from 4.2 to 4.4 GHz.

The US C-band is much closer to that frequency range, and that is what has caused alarm among airlines, which threatened to cancel their flights if that deployment continued. Operators such as At&T and Verizon ended up limiting the deployment, which for example now includes calls “buffer zones” (“buffer zones”) in which the C-band is not operational.

In Europe that fear does not exist. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) indicated on CNN that “the technical data we have received from European manufacturers do not offer conclusive evidence that would cause us to have immediate safety concerns right now”.

Countries like France have gone even further, and in their deployments near airports they have purposely tilted the towers with the 5G antennas to limit their potential interference with aircraft.

They did it as a preventive measure, and They haven’t had any problems with that deployment of 5G networks in the C-band. It remains to be seen how carriers like Verizon or AT&T ultimately solve the problem, if at all.

Image | John McArthur

Via | CNN