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DGCA raises concern over 5G rollout, writes to telecom division

AS INDIA’S telecom operators put together for rollout of 5G companies, the nation’s aviation security regulator has written to the telecom division flagging issues over the doubtless interference of 5G C-Band spectrum with plane radio altimeters, The Indian Specific has learnt.

A radio altimeter is an instrument that gives direct height-above-terrain data to numerous plane methods. The first concern of the Directorate Common of Civil Aviation (DGCA) emerges from the truth that these altimeters in addition to part of the 5G telecom companies function within the C-Band.

For telecom service suppliers, the C-Band presents a candy spot for rolling out 5G companies, making certain protection in addition to excessive bandwidth, leading to sooner web speeds. For plane operations, using altimeters on this band ensures extremely exact measurements of the aircraft’s altitude.

“The DGCA is working in shut coordination with the Division of Telecommunications (DoT) and has apprised it of its issues over doubtless interference of 5G C-Band spectrum with plane radio altimeters,” stated a senior authorities official.

These pink flags are based mostly on issues raised by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) over the past one yr since telecom operators within the US, akin to AT&T, Verizon and T-Cellular and so on, started rolling out 5G companies. Within the US, an settlement between the FAA and the telecom operators resulted in a delay in rollout of 5G companies within the C-Band close to airports that had been assessed to be tough for pilots to make visible approaches.

“The radio altimeters choose up the faintest indicators mirrored off the bottom within the assigned frequencies to realize extremely correct outcomes. This makes it attainable for the devices to choose up what are often known as ‘out-of-band’ indicators. These out-of-band indicators may considerably impair capabilities of a radio altimeter,” stated one other official.

A 3rd official on the DoT, nevertheless, performed down the affect. “We’ve got auctioned C-Band spectrum within the frequency starting from 3.3 GHz to three.6 GHz (in India). Plane radio altimeters primarily use frequencies starting from 4.2-4.4 GHz. So, there’s a important 500 MHz hole between the 2 frequency ranges. Having stated that, the telecom division has taken be aware of the issues flagged by DGCA, and we’re working collectively,” stated the official.

The official stated the problem within the US grew to become important as a result of operators there are deploying 5G companies within the 3.7-3.98 GHz frequencies, which is nearer to the radio altimeter frequencies.

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The DGCA and DoT didn’t reply to e-mails despatched by The Indian Specific, looking for their feedback.

Earlier this yr, Air India needed to cancel a few of its flights to the US as airways globally scrambled to reschedule flights amid issues that the rollout of 5G cellular companies within the US may doubtlessly intervene with plane navigation methods. Even on the time, the DGCA had coordinated with Indian carriers on the problem.

Over the past yr, the FAA has issued a number of directives to airways to put in sure filters or modify their gear to make sure that 5G airwaves don’t intervene with their navigation methods.

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