As Indian operators prepare to roll out 5G services, the country’s aviation safety regulator has sent a letter to the telecommunications sector expressing concern about possible interference between the 5G C-band spectrum and aviation radio altimeters.
A radio altimeter is an instrument that provides altitude information directly to various aircraft systems. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)’s main concern stems from the fact that these altimeters and some of his 5G communications services operate in his C band.
For the operator, C-band is an ideal place to roll out his 5G service. This is to ensure both coverage and high bandwidth, as well as faster internet speeds. In flight operations, altimeters in this band can be used to accurately measure aircraft altitude. “DGCA is working closely with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and has informed the DoT of its concerns that the 5G C-band spectrum may interfere with aviation radio altimeters,” a senior government official said.
These red flags build on concerns raised by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last year since US carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile began rolling out his 5G services. increase. In the U.S., an agreement between the FAA and carriers delayed the rollout of C-band 5G service near airports deemed difficult for pilots to visually approach.
However, a third DoT officer downplayed the impact. “We have auctioned the C-band spectrum in the frequency range (India) from 3.3 GHz to 3.6 GHz. Aviation radio altimeters mainly use frequencies in the 4.2-4.4 GHz range. Two frequency ranges There is a clear 500 MHz gap between them, but the telecommunications sector is aware of the concerns reported by the DGCA and is working with them,” the official said.
“A wireless altimeter can pick up weak signals bouncing off the ground at assigned frequencies and get very accurate results. This allows the instrument to record so-called ‘out-of-band’ signals. These out-of-band signals can significantly affect the functionality of radio altimeters,” said another official.