Why 5G threatens aviation security?

Why 5G threatens aviation security?

The warning issued by US airlines to the Joe Biden administration about 5G technology and its impact on aviation security raises questions about when and why US airports in particular?

Why 5G threatens aviation security

The bosses of the major American airlines sent a letter to the White House on Monday (January 17) warning of the possibility of catastrophic disruption in the transport and air cargo sectors if the fifth-generation networks were exploited, Wednesday, January 19 January, as scheduled, without setting Controls for transmitting stations located near airports in the United States.

Telecommunications companies "Verizon" and "AT&T" were to launch the new "5G C-Band" service today, Wednesday, after delaying the operation twice before, the first on December 5, and the second on January 5. This month of January.

Yesterday Tuesday, the two telecommunications companies agreed to postpone the launch of fifth-generation services for a third time by two weeks, and "AT&T" confirmed the agreement in a statement, noting that at the request of the United States Secretary to Transportation Pete Buttigieg: “We have voluntarily agreed to an additional two weeks for our deployment of 5G wireless network communications services. We know that aviation safety and 5G networks can coexist, and we are confident that continuing cooperation and technical evaluation will dispel all doubts.

What is the story of the fifth generation technology?

Tech experts say the fifth-generation technology could fundamentally change our lives, as its high speed will allow for controlling self-driving cars and even performing remote surgeries. The top five companies providing 5G technology are Huawei and ZTE (both Chinese), Nokia (Finnish), Samsung (South Korea) and Ericsson (Swedish).

But US officials say it will multiply security concerns because of the central and essential role that electronic communications will play in our daily lives and the increase in the number of devices connected to the new system.

As 5G technology expands into all aspects of life, from hospitals to transportation networks to power generation facilities, it will become an integral part of every country's infrastructure. This will make the consequences of these networks failing or deliberately resorting to sabotage more dangerous.

5G technology

Technically, the fifth generation uses 3.5 GHz radio frequencies in its first version before reaching the 26 GHz level, and the new technology aims to offer the possibility of connecting without congestion at the level of traditional frequencies used by the second, third and fourth generation, between 700 MHz and 26 GHz.

But the efficiency and strength of the fifth generation are not only related to the type and level of radio frequencies used but go beyond the quality of the technical infrastructure (the antenna and the power stations), which allows benefit from the quality of access to digital services equivalent to 10 times the access speed offered by the fourth generation of communication networks.

For example, downloading a 1 GB file using a mobile phone or tablet would take no more than 10 seconds via 5G technology, compared to a full 7 minutes with currently used technologies.

How will 5G technology affect aviation safety?

From the outset, there were fears that the new 5G technology would interfere with aircraft electronics. Those concerns have persisted, as the aviation industry and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration expressed concerns in early December that 5G technology could interfere with sensitive aircraft devices, such as altimeters. wireless.

Airbus released a statement saying: "Airbus and Boeing have worked with others in the U.S. aviation industry to understand the impact of 5G and its interference with wireless altimeters, and a proposal regarding aviation safety for overcoming any potential risk has been submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation for discussion." .

Until the update is activated, mobile networks will move their operations to new wireless waves called C-band. Last year, Verizon and AT&T spent $67 billion to obtain the necessary C-band licenses to upgrade their networks to 5G technology, according to a report by Britain's Guardian newspaper.

But major airlines are concerned that aircraft altitude control devices, which also operate on C-band frequencies, could be affected due to their potential interference with C-band frequencies of 5G mobile networks. . Pilots rely on the aircraft's wireless radars to measure the distance to the ground when landing, especially in low visibility conditions.

Is the problem of 5G and aviation global?

There is a consensus among communications and aviation agencies that 5G technology and the aviation industry can co-exist and co-exist naturally, and the fact is that this is already happening in 40 countries around the world that have already implemented 5G technology in their communications. networks.

US telecommunications companies said that no aviation accidents had been reported in these countries and that US airlines were also taking off and landing from airports in these countries without problems, according to a Reuters report.

The U.S. Federal Civil Aviation Authority released a statement on Jan. 3, saying 5G and aviation work together safely in other countries as areas around airports have experienced reduced energy levels and because the communications and aviation industries have worked together "before deploying 5G technology for the purposes of coordination and resolution of possible problems.

Why exactly America's airports suffer from this problem?

Discussions about how to handle the transition from 4G to 5G in the United States go back several years, but have intensified in recent months. The carriers, Verizon and AT&T, had announced the operation of fifth-generation services in the United States on December 5, but objections from the carriers caused the delay.

The two telecom companies have proposed several measures to reach an agreement with the airlines, including reducing the power of fifth-generation networks in areas around airports and heliports, in addition to operating fifth-generation services. at low power across the country in the first six months. Operating.

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