The Department of Telecommunications has granted permission to Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone India and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) to conduct 5G technology trials based on the applications submitted, stated the Ministry of Communications in a reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
When asked if the government has conducted any study into the effects of 5G on aeronautical interference, the ministry responded, “The frequency band opened for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), including 5G Technology, in India have enough guard band to ensure that there is no aeronautical interference. Therefore, the question of conducting study does not arise.”
This question comes after the US aviation industry and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) warnings that 5G interference could impact sensitive airplane electronics such as radio altimeters, which gauge the height of an aircraft above terrain immediately below it and are used in low visibility landings, led to the cancellation of a host of flights.
Air India too had announced the revision of its schedule. “Due to the deployment of 5G communications in the USA, our operations from India stand curtailed/revised with change in aircraft type from 19th January,” it had stated.
Airlines CEOs in the US had warned of a ‘catastrophic’ aviation crisis on January 17 that could lead to the grounding of almost all air traffic because of 5G deployment. AT&T and Verizon, following the row, agreed to delay the launch of new wireless service near key airports. AT&T did not clarify how long it will delay the launch for, and Verizon said it will launch but will voluntarily “limit the 5G network around airports”.
The delay, however, did not stop scores of international airlines from cancelling their flights to the US.
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