In early November, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States requested the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to put a stop to 5G rollouts in mid-band and C-band near airports due to safety concerns. Now, India is following suit, with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) forbidding Jio, Vi, and Airtel from providing 5G in C-band near airports. These telecom companies have been told not to offer 5G in 3 GHz to 3.67 GHz frequencies within 2.1 kilometres of an airport as they might cause interference with aircraft equipment.
As a possible solution to this, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has decided to replace the altimeter filters in aeroplanes. Once this is done, the telecom giants will be able to roll out 5G in these areas as well.
As of now, DoT has mandated that 5G base stations installed up to 540 meters beyond the 2.1-kilometre distance (where the network cannot be rolled out) only emit 58 dBm/MHz until the process of replacing all altimeters is over.
It’s important to note that altimeters operate within a very specific range - 4.2 - 4.4 GHz range - and though this isn’t exactly close to the frequencies emitted by 5G networks, the Government would rather err on the side of safety. Disruptions within the altimeters can be catastrophic as this device allows pilots to understand the distance between the plane and land, thereby ensuring a safe landing.
Reliance Jio recently announced the successful launch of its 5G network, True5G in Gujarat, right after completing a smaller launch in Pune. Airtel has also launched its 5G network, and it is available to all customers without any additional charges as of now.
Jio is also leveraging its 5G network to bring better Cloud gaming services to India. You can read about it here.