Telecommunications: 5G phones could disrupt planes

Posted16 February 2021, 13:21

According to the civil aviation authorities in France, phones equipped with 5G could create risks of interference leading to potential errors in altitude measurements.

The use of 5G devices on board aircraft could generate interference in aircraft.


5G phones could disrupt the operation of aircraft altimeters due to their use of neighboring frequency waves, we learned Tuesday from the civil aviation authorities in France who recommend turning off these mobiles on board aircraft. devices.

“The use of 5G devices on board aircraft could lead to the risk of interference leading to potential errors in altitude measurements,” a spokesperson for the Directorate General of France told AFP. civil aviation (DGAC).

Risks of disruption

This possible phenomenon, due to “signal interference by a wave of close frequency and of power comparable or greater than that of radio altimeters”, would cause errors “particularly critical during instrument landing phases”, noted the DGAC.

The French administration issued a newsletter on this subject last week, intended for flight operators. This document mentions several preventive measures. He asks in particular that on board, “all electronic devices compatible with 5G (be) in airplane mode or switched off”.

In addition, “in the event of a disruption, the crews must inform the air traffic service provider so that the latter can take the necessary operational actions and alert the supervisory authority as well as the airport manager”, according to the same source. .

Antenna monitoring

The DGAC also indicated that it had “defined the conditions for the implementation of 5G antennas in the territory in order to control these risks of interference with on-board systems during the landing phases at French airports”.

This resulted in a limitation of the power level of emissions from 5G antennas, being deployed on French territory, “near the 17 airports certified for so-called all-weather” landing operations “, according to the DGAC, which announced in November “additional technical analyzes” to “ensure the compatibility of these stations with the needs of civil aviation”.

“For the 123 other airports in the territory, surveillance of the antennas deployed nearby is put in place in close coordination with the National Frequency Agency (ANFR) with reinforced means of action making it possible to act quickly” in the event of alert on a disturbance, underlined the French administration Tuesday.

At the end of December, more than 8,600 5G sites had been opened commercially in France by operators, according to data published in mid-January by the Telecoms Regulatory Authority (Arcep) in the country, including 5,640 by the sole operator Free .


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