5G networks could affect plane radars and cause crashes, experts warn

FEARS that new 5G networks could lead to potential plane crashes have been expressed by experts.

Concerns have been raised in the US over the 5G network being allowed to use the 3.7 to 3.98GHz frequency spectrum.

According to the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) who advise the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in America, 5G operations on that frequency could interfere with planes' radar altimeters – which use the 4.2 to 4.4GHz frequency.

Radar altimeters measure the height of the aircraft above terrain and other potential risks such as mountains or buildings.

Documents released by the RTCA have warned that 5G could be a "major risk" to aircraft.

The report warns that it could impact aviation operations on aircraft both in the US and worldwide, with potential "catastrophic failures leading to multiple fatalities, in the absence of appropriate mitigations".

It states: "The results presented in this report reveal a major risk that 5G telecommunications systems in the 3.7–3.98 GHz band will cause harmful interference to radar altimeters on all types of civil aircraft—including commercial transport airplanes; business, regional, and general aviation airplanes; and both transport and general aviation helicopters."

The report continues: "Failures of these sensors can therefore lead to incidents with catastrophic results."

They have since warned that more research is required into the issue, from both the aviation and mobile network industries.

Terry McVenes, President and CEO of RTCA said: “We are pleased to submit this technical information to the FCC that provides a quantitative evaluation of radar altimeter performance during interference from expected 5G emissions used by the mobile wireless industry.

"A thorough understanding of the risks associated with this interference and the impact on aviation safety will be vital in bringing both aviation and spectrum regulators together to ensure that safety-critical aviation systems will continue to be protected for the purposes of public safety."

The UK is getting 5G rolled out across the country, with O2 rolling it out to 100 towns and cities – here is the full list.

However, China has already fired what it claims is the world's first 6G satellite into orbit.

It could be as much as 100x faster than 5G.

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