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DGCA cites ‘potential disruption’ in 5G rollout due to aircraft, writes to Telecom Department

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has written to the Department of Telecom (DoT) over potential interference of the spectrum with aircraft, media report say.

Several aircraft systems receive direct height-above-terrain information from a radio altimeter.

The Indian Express reported that the main issue for the aviation regulator is that some 5G communication services and altimeters both operate in the C-Band.

According to the report, the DGCA has shared its concerns to the telecom department and is collaborating with them. While the C-Band is a sweet spot for telecom service providers to build out 5G services and ensure coverage and high capacity, it also offers precise measurements of the plane’s height for flight operations.

The DGCA’s worry follows concerns expressed by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) following the launch of 5G services by US telecom providers.

In order to produce extremely accurate findings, radio altimeters are able to pick up even the lightest signals that are reflected off the ground in the designated frequencies. As a result, the instruments are capable of picking up “out-of-band” signals, which might seriously hamper the performance of the altimeters.

A DoT representative stated that they are collaborating to address the issues. The person also said that because US providers are building 5G services in the 3.7-3.98 GHz frequencies, which are closer to the radio altimeter frequencies, the problem there has grown significantly.

The launch is anticipated to take place on September 29 with the opening of the India Mobile Congress. It remains to be seen, though, whether the DGCA’s letter would result in yet another delay in the introduction of 5G services.

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