Summary of the 5G Interfering with Aviation Safety in the US
January 20, 2022

  • Federal Communications Commission FCC auctioned the C-band spectrum between 3.7-3.98 GHz in early 2021.

  • The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has warned that the new 5G technology could interfere with instruments such as altimeters, which measure how far above the ground an airplane is traveling.
  • The Pentagon believes, the focus should be on preventing interference to aviation instruments rather than trying to stop the FCC from auctioning the C-band spectrum used for 5G communication.
  • Altimeters operate in the 4.2-4.4 GHz range and the concern is that the auctioned frequencies sit too close to this range.

  • As per the Aviation industry, Radio altimeters are vital equipment, used to measure the height of an aircraft above the ground, up to 2,500 feet depending on aircraft, where harmful #interference could cause issues in various landings and approaches.

  • This is the third time that AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay the deployment of the new C-Band 5G wireless service. The companies in November postponed deployment by 30 days until Jan. 5 and then agreed to delay deployment until Jan. 19.


  • AS per CTIA “Wireless carriers in nearly 40 countries throughout Europe and Asia now use the C band for 5G, with no reported effects on radio altimeters that operate in the same internationally designated 4.2-4.4 GHz band,”, So “well-designed [radio altimeter] equipment should not ordinarily receive any significant interference”

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