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 5G 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 aviation to co-exist,” COAI 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.