FAA fears new 5G wireless service may interfere with aviation safety

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The Federal Aviation Administration has expressed concern that 5G cellular technology could interfere with aviation.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the FAA is writing a memo for pilots warning them of potential interference between cockpit security systems and automated systems, and a 5G wireless service that is expected to go live in December. .

“Cockpit systems, common in modern air travel, help planes land in bad weather, prevent crashes and avoid mid-air collisions,” the outlet reported. “The FAA has determined that if commercial pilots are unable to use the features, it could result in flight cancellations, delays or diversions in 46 of the largest metropolitan areas in the country where the towers are located, have these officials said. “

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The administration has issued a response regarding the article.

“The FAA continues to engage with other agencies so that aviation and the latest generation of 5G cellular technology can safely coexist,” the administration said in a statement to FOX TV stations on Sunday.

“Safety is the top priority of the FAA,” the statement continued.

5G is a new technical standard for wireless networks – the fifth, of course – that promises faster speeds; less latency or “latency” when connecting to the network; and the ability to connect many devices to the Internet without bogging it down. 5G networks will ideally be better able to handle more users, many sensors and heavy traffic.

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Before we can all use it, wireless companies and phone manufacturers need to upgrade. Phones need new radio chips and antennas to work with the new network.

There is considerable hype about the promise of 5G. Industry groups say it will promote smart cities by connecting networks of sensors that could manage traffic and quickly identify street light failures. 5G could connect self-driving cars and power new applications in virtual and augmented reality. Its high-speed connections could enable better remote surgery and other telemedicine, help businesses automate their factories, and provide businesses with dedicated high-speed Internet channels.

A true mobile deployment in the United States began in 2019, but significantly faster networks are still scarce. It will take a few years to become national, and even then more rural areas of the country will not be covered by the “millimeter wave” frequencies that promise the highest speeds and data capabilities, said Michael Thelander, CEO of wireless consulting firm Signals Research. Group.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.

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