Airlines look askance at 5G


The nascent 5G technology due to roll out early next year is facing some pushback from an unlikely source – or at least an unusual one.


Reuters reports today that the heads of Boeing and Airbus wrote to regulators asking them to delay 5G implementations by AT&T and Verizon planned for January 5. Specifically, the parties involved contacted none other than Pete Buttegieg, US Transportation Secretary, to warn about possible interference with aircraft gear.


“AT&T and Verizon were scheduled to roll out their C-band 5G services in November, but delayed the rollout until the January 5 date following airplane safety concerns voiced by the Federal Aviation Authority,” writes Isobel Asher Hamilton at Business Insider. “The FAA said in November that 5G deployment could potentially cause interference with altimeters on airplanes, used to measure the altitude of aircrafts.”


Hamilton also cites a quote from Boeing:


“The aerospace industry is focused on fully evaluating and addressing the potential for 5G interference with radio altimeters. We are collaborating with aviation authorities, government leaders, airlines, and industry groups to ensure the continued operational safety of aircraft throughout the aviation system worldwide.”


So the telecom companies hoping to deploy a whole raft of fancy new infrastructure across US municipalities are facing this FAA concern along with challenges from many residents who believe in certain health dangers related to 5G rollouts.


As if that’s not enough, purveyors of 5G will need to source the correct band frequency spectrum, and get all of that infrastructure in place while reassuring customers that their privacy won’t be invaded.

“Like any data-driven technology, 5G rollout will have to contend with both standard and sophisticated cybersecurity threats,” writes Ted Kritsonis at IOT Now. “Though 5G falls under the Authentication and Key Agreement (AKA), a system designed to establish trust between networks, it would currently be possible to track people nearby using their phones or even eavesdrop on live phone calls. Much like it is now, the onus will be on the carriers and network consortiums to provide a digital safety net for customers.”

We’ll be watching as 2022 progresses. Check your portfolios, and enjoy the holidays!