Government Asks Telcos to Take Measures While Setting Up 5G Towers Near Airports

Telecom service providers have been advised to take various measures, including establishing safety and buffer zones, while placing 5G towers in the vicinity of airports to minimise interference of 5G services in aircraft operations, the government said on Monday.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh told the Rajya Sabha that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has not conducted any study on the potential effect of 5G signals on safe civil aircraft operations.

"However, DGCA has, reviewed the studies/action undertaken by various countries during the launch of 5G on the potential interference of 5G C-band signals on radio altimeters installed on the aircraft and risk involved in air travel.

"The review has shown that there may be a likelihood of interference in the functioning of Radio Altimeter installed on aircraft due to C-band 5G signals which may affect vital aircraft systems and can lead to unsafe aircraft operations," he said in a written reply.

Based on the technical inputs received from the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), he said that while there is a guard band available in the frequency band allocated to 5G transmissions for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) in India, there may be a possibility of interference with aircraft radio altimeters which may affect safe aircraft operations.

In order to minimise the interference, the Telecom Service Providers (TSP) have been advised to take various measures while placing 5G towers in the vicinity of airports.

They have been advised to establish safety and buffer zones in the vicinity of airports, restricting power levels of C-Band 5G transmissions around the airports, and ensure the tilt of 5G base stations to an extent such that the 5G emissions do not interfere with radio altimeters.

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