C-Band 5G dates and controversy.

imwjl

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Tomorrow is when Verizon is supposed to turn on C-Band wireless.

Is anyone here following the controversy between the major wireless carriers and FAA? Am I naive to think it working in around 40 other countries and seemingly late complaints from FAA make the FAA the bad guys?

No way do I want undue risk, but it seems to me like FAA dragged their feet, and we could for sure use better carrier performance. If you look at maps available, it would seem we might have already had planes fall out of the sky if the risk is of significance. There are conspiracy minded who feel the less dominant carriers are supporting the FAA or delay so they can catch up.

One way or another, there are places near me with Verizon's map showing 5G coverage and no way do you get 5G now or even decent LTE reception. The wired phone and cable companies are pretty crappy for rural residents. This seems important.
 

Vibroluxer

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Ya, a royal mess all fueled by money. What's the big deal for ATT and Verizon? 4G has been the standard for years. I don't see how holding off going live with 5G really harms them.

Why no mention of TMobile?
 
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SRHmusic

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I just read up on some of the background today. Part of the problem is the wide variety of equipment in use. Some of it is tested to be okay. The difference between the US and elsewhere is in the allowed transmit power levels and also the allocated frequency bands. In the US these are closer to the operating frequencies of aircraft radio altimeters. It's an FCC issue, as well. Not sure why the delays in finding a workable solution, as this has been known for a while.

(Not sure why planes would have already been affected, as these particular transmitters weren't enabled yet, as far as I can tell.)

Some info here :

Edit: Well, that was paywalled when I went back to it. Here's a Reuters summary.
Also note this is not "all" of 5G, but some specific bands and regions around airports.
 
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Jim_in_PA

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ATT and Verizon have now both agreed to delay turning on the C-Band stuff close to certain airports. There's a lot of complexity here and a lot of spread responsibility and that does include the airlines as they have know for years that C-Band was going to come into play. Same for the FCC. It's primarily an issue of poor planning all around.
 

SRHmusic

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If this was just an issue between different radio standards using adjacent frequency bands it could have been handled in the usual way of specifying maximum emissions in particular bands. (It is mostly a matter of input filtering in the receivers and spectral purity in the transmitters.) I have a feeling that the navigation equipment industry doesn't work the same way as the communication industry, and doesn't have people in the comms standards committees. But they should know how much noise power they could take in their receiver front ends without affecting accuracy, and the comms standards could set limits particular to these bands on out of band emissions. It would be interesting to hear some scuttlebutt from people in the middle of this at that level, as opposed to the press releases and CEO comments.
 

imwjl

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ATT and Verizon have now both agreed to delay turning on the C-Band stuff close to certain airports. There's a lot of complexity here and a lot of spread responsibility and that does include the airlines as they have know for years that C-Band was going to come into play. Same for the FCC. It's primarily an issue of poor planning all around.
Yes, if it's not the FAA, you'd at leas think airlines would have been pushing them more. The news seems to be as old as no longer seeing those big satellite dishes in peoples' back yard.

My inner cheapskate will probably have to FINALLY give up nursing the same old plan. My problem with the "unlimited" plans is they're not all unlimited and my work often needs the performance along with reliability.

@SRHmusic just mentioned a curiosity but I go down enough rabbit holes without finding the forum for avionics engineers.

:)
 

schmee

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It's very effed up and shows you that big money gets what they want.
It's going to interfere with Airline operations starting tomorrow.
It has made many wireless rigs, including mic's, illegal now. (anything over 600mhz)
(*My singer's $600 Sennheiser wireless Mic needs a part and can't be bought because they are illegal now)
 

telemnemonics

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I was confused by TV news calling it 5g which we've had for a year or more.
Consumers want constant tech improvement and also want to fly around for work and pleasure.
Tech engineers get busy?
 

Rufus

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We have already been notified on the commercial helicopter side that it can interfere with radar altimeter functioning, but they ASSURE us it will be isolated.

Yeah, sure…

Great job FAA (Not!).
So much for paying lip service to safety…
 

imwjl

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It's very effed up and shows you that big money gets what they want.
It's going to interfere with Airline operations starting tomorrow.
It has made many wireless rigs, including mic's, illegal now. (anything over 600mhz)
(*My singer's $600 Sennheiser wireless Mic needs a part and can't be bought because they are illegal now)
Everything in this is big money.

Maybe it's attitude from my work but the matter of the wireless mic doesn't seem to be different than all sorts of wireless I've known my whole life. Similar goes on or more accurately went on with communications for years. Before The TCP/IP stack over radio waves there was licensing the radios in your fleet, your company intercoms and products used in manufacturing.

I'm not so sure it will interfere with Airline operations. Even if it does, I swear a lot of this has been in the news for decades, and I thought the Intelsat bankruptcy was part of how the phone companies bought the spectrum. Did Sennheisier blow it too? I know we have to retire a wireless intercom system more from the maker's lack of business prowess than AT&T or Verizon being bullies.
 

aging_rocker

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No problem, just requires this simple mod and then your airlines will be all good:

1642542752136.png
 

SRHmusic

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Yes, if it's not the FAA, you'd at leas think airlines would have been pushing them more. The news seems to be as old as no longer seeing those big satellite dishes in peoples' back yard.

My inner cheapskate will probably have to FINALLY give up nursing the same old plan. My problem with the "unlimited" plans is they're not all unlimited and my work often needs the performance along with reliability.

@SRHmusic just mentioned a curiosity but I go down enough rabbit holes without finding the forum for avionics engineers.

:)
So, yeah, I started down the rabbit hole...

It's looking like the aircraft manufacturers think there is a problem, based on this report from Oct 2020 (and earlier filings from 2018), and the cellular carriers have been pushing the FCC to allow the use of the new bands, and the FCC is in the middle - and dropped the ball. AFAIK the FCC sanctioned the spectrum auction to the carriers, which took place in Feb 2020, and it sets the radio standards for both 5G and the avionics.


We could imagine the cost and problems caused by some requirement that all aircraft in the US have their electronics upgraded. That's just not going to happen.

And the Air Line Pilots Assoc. is, uh, not happy:
http://www.alpa.org/advocacy/5G-interference
"ALPA and other aviation leaders offered to assist the wireless industry in conducting a comprehensive study on the effects of these proposed transmissions on aircraft navigation systems, but no such study has taken place.

"In 2020, RTCA published a paper [link above] that evaluated the interference risk. That report has since been validated by the FAA and multiple aviation safety regulators globally and demonstrates that radio altimeter interference by 5G broadcast in C-Band is a safety risk because the data generated onboard the aircraft is often utilized by other systems, such as terrain-avoidance systems.

"We have been warning these stakeholders since 2018 that the 5G plan would interfere with airplane radio altimeters, but they ignored us. Flight safety continues to be at risk. The reliability of air travel is at risk. Flight cancellations and operational disruptions could become the norm thanks to the FCC’s irresponsible actions—and the wireless industry’s decision to broadcast without regard to impact on aviation."

Nov 2021 bulletin from the FCC to the avionics industry - asking for more test data...
And a couple articles that provided the links:
2018: https://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/aviation-community-worries-about-possible-effects-5g-c-band
2021: https://www.fiercewireless.com/regu...ess-industries-clash-over-c-band-interference
 

Ronzo

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The spectrum was auctioned off by the FCC in 2016. More than five years ago.

The airlines have had all that time to ensure that their radio altimeter equipment on their aircraft be retrofitted to accommodate this. As has been mentioned, other industries (like musical wireless equipment manufacturers) have had to redesign and retool, and have done so. I don’t believe that the aerospace industry should get a pass for their poor planning and refusal to spend the money to retrofit their aircraft to avoid a problem that has been facing them for more than five years.

As usual, it’s all about money. And the airlines being “too big to fail”.

How many fliers versus how many cell phone users? My bet is on Verizon and AT&T winning this battle. But nobody - including the United States Federal Government - holds any “moral high ground“ here, IMO.
 
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SRHmusic

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I
The spectrum was auctioned off by the FCC in 2016. More than five years ago.

The airlines have had all that time to ensure that their radio altimeter equipment on their aircraft be retrofitted to accommodate this. As has been mentioned, other industries (like musical wireless equipment manufacturers) have had to redesign and retool, and have done so. I don’t believe that the aerospace industry should get a pass for their poor planning and refusal to spend the money to retrofit their aircraft to avoid a problem that has been facing them for more than five years.

As usual, it’s all about money. And the airlines being “too big to fail”.

How many fliers versus how many cell phone users? My bet is on Verizon and AT&T winning this battle. But nobody - including the United States Federal Government - holds any “moral high ground “ here, IMO.
I think the auction started in Dec 2020? FCC announcement:
In any case, the airlines started complaining during or before 2018. But it's the FCC that, with industry group inputs, set the standards for equipment. Without a standard there nothing consistent to test or design to. I find it difficult to lay this on the airline industry (at least only on) as they were the first users in this region of the spectrum and have very long timelines for safety qualification and long equipment service life. The FCC sets the radio standards for both industries (see the 2020 rcta report, link above). Seems like a major FCC miss to me, holding that auction before solid standards were agreed on or without gates requiring standards be set and agreed to before service starts. They could have been getting the cellular standards people started on this a lot sooner if the big investors knew they couldn't use the spectrum.
 

imwjl

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The spectrum was auctioned off by the FCC in 2016. More than five years ago.

The airlines have had all that time to ensure that their radio altimeter equipment on their aircraft be retrofitted to accommodate this. As has been mentioned, other industries (like musical wireless equipment manufacturers) have had to redesign and retool, and have done so. I don’t believe that the aerospace industry should get a pass for their poor planning and refusal to spend the money to retrofit their aircraft to avoid a problem that has been facing them for more than five years.

As usual, it’s all about money. And the airlines being “too big to fail”.

How many fliers versus how many cell phone users? My bet is on Verizon and AT&T winning this battle. But nobody - including the United States Federal Government - holds any “moral high ground “ here, IMO.
And I recall news of the spectrum going back years including what I think was Intelsat going private and they went bankrupt.

If me an average news and tech/finance news reader somehow caught the news going way back and it (the spectrum) would be available, you'd think whoever makes the altitude radar should if not the FCC should have been aware and on it. I know agencies both lots of states and federal have had a tough while but someone at the top should have at least been more on it.

Anyway, I'd like better telecom, appreciate public safety, but some local cries about this seem to be the private jet and helicopter owners where those airports are mostly welfare for the rich. The lack of C-band by important airports is probably a reasonable compromise for now.
 

Killing Floor

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It's 100% the same controversy that occurred when they went from 3G to 4G, and the same controversy when Verizon and ATT upgraded to GPRS for Blackberry devices.

Oh,
It's also exactly the same controversy that occurred a few years back when airlines wanted to offer WiFi to passengers.

Wait, wait wait, it's also the same controversy that the broadband providers and users stirred up when you could use the onboard WiFi with your phone but the airlines still legally need to ask you to put your phone in "Airplane Mode" which on most devices turns off the WiFi.

Without specifically naming the 2 agencies involved I will point out that both are directed by attorneys.

And the FCC has strictly controlled radio frequency/bandwidth for longer than this year and the systems on board aircraft are already designed to operate within restricted bandwidths that you cannot access with phones or cell towers.

It's just dumb.
 

Killing Floor

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The spectrum was auctioned off by the FCC in 2016. More than five years ago.

The airlines have had all that time to ensure that their radio altimeter equipment on their aircraft be retrofitted to accommodate this. As has been mentioned, other industries (like musical wireless equipment manufacturers) have had to redesign and retool, and have done so. I don’t believe that the aerospace industry should get a pass for their poor planning and refusal to spend the money to retrofit their aircraft to avoid a problem that has been facing them for more than five years.

As usual, it’s all about money. And the airlines being “too big to fail”.

How many fliers versus how many cell phone users? My bet is on Verizon and AT&T winning this battle. But nobody - including the United States Federal Government - holds any “moral high ground“ here, IMO.
Also it’s important to acknowledge that in order for the aircraft navigation devices to be approved and decertified for flight use they had to be designed such that they were impervious to radio interference.

THIS IS Y2K, just home spun panic.
 

imwjl

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Also it’s important to acknowledge that in order for the aircraft navigation devices to be approved and decertified for flight use they had to be designed such that they were impervious to radio interference.

THIS IS Y2K, just home spun panic.
I've wondered about the home spun panic or personal USA problem just from my following some international news sources for years. It hasn't seemed to have made headlines elsewhere. One of my wife's first cousins in Europe negotiates international air routes and works for a firm known for it's servicing a particular 747 popular in air freight. I'd have thought it would have come up in our chats. His work is all of business, politics, and at times technical because of the way the whole world depends on air freight.

So far I see this on turn up day. The side of my house and driveway where phone "sees" 5G is same. The full of glass south facing side that's usually 1 bar 5G or 2-3 bars LTE is solid 4/all bars LTE. In past week+ the Verizon coverage map updated north of me but the no 5G island I border is same. On Sunday I was in an area newly marked 5G coverage and I got nothing or LTE - worse than months prior. An area where my bank is was always a rare for Verizon poor service spot. That's been solid 5G since November.

We (my work) get dedicated Verizon business staff for our delivery operation and they've seemed unaware of a lot. All they really seem to do is have ability to get priority support, and a few times over the years get the AAA administered to aid roaming. Most of those phones and devices are not 5G.
 

Jim_in_PA

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If this was just an issue between different radio standards using adjacent frequency bands it could have been handled in the usual way of specifying maximum emissions in particular bands. (It is mostly a matter of input filtering in the receivers and spectral purity in the transmitters.) I have a feeling that the navigation equipment industry doesn't work the same way as the communication industry, and doesn't have people in the comms standards committees. But they should know how much noise power they could take in their receiver front ends without affecting accuracy, and the comms standards could set limits particular to these bands on out of band emissions. It would be interesting to hear some scuttlebutt from people in the middle of this at that level, as opposed to the press releases and CEO comments.
Interestingly, some plane types appear to have been "cleared" to be less likely affected including many Boeing and Airbus models. So it sounds to me like the folks that make the radio altimeters are also a critical piece to this puzzle. Meanwhile, the wireless industry really does need to use their C-band spectrum to provide higher speed 5G in areas away from dense urban setting where the high-band/highest-speed service has the economic payback to support closely spaced base stations. C-Band is much faster than low-band 5G and existing 4G, but slower than the high-band 5G. In exchange, it has distance and building penetration that cannot be obtained with the high-band stuff. C-band can be deployed on existing towers; high/wide-band is on street posts/power poles every 1500-3000' feet, depending on terrain and building density.
 

Killing Floor

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I’m not a telemetry expert. However, my job does require me to stay current with any industry trends or federal regulations that affect future use within the ISM bands.

To keep it really fundamental, your garage door opener is a radio and your neighbor’s drone is a radio. So why can’t you crash his drone with your garage? Different frequencies in different bandwidths with different encryption. This was all established and has been regulated. It’s been over 30 years since you heard cross talk on your home phone. This is why. Telemetry and encryption and explicit messaging have been standardized and this is just a distraction.
 




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