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FAA Warns of Potential Interference From 5G Network Deployments in C-Band

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released a bulletin informing aircraft manufacturers, operators and pilots over potential interference with radio altimeters and other aircraft electronics systems caused by the use of 5G technology, Reuters reported Tuesday.

FAA is carrying out a risk assessment to determine whether further mitigation is needed in preparation for planned 5G network deployments in the C-band spectrum starting Dec. 5th, according to the special airworthiness information bulletin.

The agency called on equipment manufacturers to conduct tests to determine the susceptibility of radio altimeters to interference and work with aircraft makers on design changes.

Aircraft manufacturers should evaluate the potential for interference on various aircraft types and issue guidance to operators on retrofit plans for radio altimeters and other aircraft equipment that are susceptible to harmful interference due to 5G network operations in the 3700-3800 MHz band.

Meredith Attwell Baker, president and CEO of wireless trade group CTIA, said 5G networks using the C-band spectrum would not cause any harmful interference and that any delay in using the spectrum could undermine U.S. leadership in 5G.

“5G networks using C-band spectrum operate safely and without causing harmful interference to aviation equipment,” Baker was quoted as saying by Fierce Wireless.

“The evidence includes numerous active 5G networks using this spectrum band in 40 countries all over the world, as well as years of study and technical analysis by the FCC and international agencies, including material submitted by the aviation industry.”