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COAI allays signal blockage fears, says 5G and aviation can safely co-exist

In US, some 50 airports will have temporary buffer zones to ban 5G; step undertaken after representation by industry bodies seeking solutions to prioritise safety and avoid air traffic disruption

5G | Aviation | COAI

Aneesh Phadnis  |  Mumbai 

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Commercial service and can safely co-exist, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has said, allaying concern about signal interference with aircraft systems.

COAI, which represents telecom companies, issued a statement on Wednesday in reaction to a letter by Federation of Indian Pilots that raised the issue about possible interference of signals with radio altimeter in an aircraft. Altimeters measure altitude above terrain. It helps pilots in situational awareness during low visibility and also provide inputs for onboard systems such as the traffic collision avoidance system.

"We understand the concerns raised by Federation of Indian Pilots, and the matter has been highlighted in the past as well wherein the authorities have found the issue of spectrum interference uncorroborated. There is a gap of 530 MHz (from 3670 MHz to 4200 MHz) in the transmission of frequencies. Thus, making it safe for 5G and to co-exist,” director general S P Kochhar said.

While 5G trials are currently underway in the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz bands, the Department of Telecommunications has decided to allocate new frequency bands in the 526-698 MHz band for 5G services as well. The government expects commercial roll out of service later this year and spectrum auctions are expected to take place in July.

In the US, at least 50 airports will have temporary buffer zones that will ban 5G coverage. The measure has been undertaken following representation by industry bodies seeking practical solutions prioritizing safety and avoiding disruption to air traffic.

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First Published: Wed, January 12 2022. 19:42 IST