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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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Will 5G be the next drag on the markets & to what extent. Pilots vow not to fly with 5G turned on within 2 miles of airport.

check out the news, Derf


  • Many airlines are canceling flights due to an unexpected 5G issue (not Omicron, not weather) - the US C-band (3.70-3.98 GHz; part of the mid-band) that just turned on can cause interference with plane instrumentations (nearby 4+ GHz used) & some airlines don't want to take chances with the US flights; it is an issue to be settled among the FAA, FCC, airline industry & White House. Telecom commercial interests & public safety issues have to be balanced - how did things get this far without resolution?
  • Good question YBB. My guess is that whoever has the biggest pot of money will win.
  • Howdy folks,

    So typically government. How many years ago did they auction off the spectrum? Duh.

    That said, I favor 5G over the airlines. It's more important. Sorry, but we've morphed from transportation to communication. Think about it. It's a continuum. Albeit moving goods and moving busses of data.

    I also don't believe the airlines. They're not having issues overseas AND these are the peeps who lied to us for what? 10? 15? years over cellphones in planes.

    Nah, roll it out completely. It's more important.

    and so it goes,

    peace and wear the damn mask,

  • FCC sold those C-band frequencies/spectrum (3.70-3.98 GHz) for $80+ billion. So, the FCC, and the companies who bought that spectrum (mostly T, VZ), want to push ahead; T-Mobile uses a different part of mid-band for its 5G. They are throwing stuff like "C-band is used in Europe without any issues" but C-band is wide and the devil is in the details. The issue is the specific US C-band frequencies used that are too close to those used in airplane instrumentations. The FAA has been in the loop, but many airlines have been blindsighted. Getting emergency alerts from Boeing & Airbus that some planes shouldn't fly in active 5G zones doesn't help. Not every airline has extra planes sitting around to tinker with the route, especially long haul routes.
  • Yep. No one knew about 5G then. Actually, it is a relatively recent knowledge that mid-band offers the best compromise for 5G speed and range. And other parts of the mid-band are being used by other things. So, that leaves only the US C-band for T & VZ for now (TMUS uses another portion of the mid-band). If the Government pushes too hard on this, T & VZ may want refund of their money back from the FCC that sold this spectrum without proper conditions. But public safety should come first.
  • See a response (4th reply) on the 5G C-band by "Bentley", a retired pilot, in a M* thread (unfortunately, his post alone cannot be cited).
  • The FCC surely knows exactly what kinds of services are assigned to use every part of the radio frequency spectrum, from the lowest frequencies (just below the AM broadcast band) to the highest. (I'm not certain what that high limit is these days, as I've been retired as a radio tech for some years now, and they keep finding uses for higher and higher frequencies.)

    The point here is that the FCC certainly knew well before the 5G C-Band was auctioned/assigned to the telcos that some of those frequencies were already in use for aviation purposes. That's their job. It's incomprehensible to me how all of this was allowed to happen, presumably without coordination between the FCC and the FAA.

    Evidently this was dealt with properly in at least some European countries, since we're being told that France, for example, is using 5G near airports with no problems.

    Something is really smelly here.
  • edited January 2022
    European 5G frequencies 3.4-3.8 GHz

    US 5G C-band frequencies (T, VZ) 3.70-3.98 GHz
    T-Mobile 5G frequency (band 41) 2.5 GHz

    Other frequencies are in use too, but the above are relevant for airplane instrumentations that have used 4+ GHz for decades. And only the US 5G C-band is near those, NOT T-Mobile 5G, nor European 5G.
  • edited January 2022
    This is hardly the first time that something like this has happened. From personal experience I can tell you that we had numerous conflicts in some geographical areas of San Francisco between the assigned Public Safety frequencies in the 800 mhz band and some telco cellphone tower sites. Typically the Public Safety radio receivers on certain frequencies would be overpowered ("hosed" was the informal term) when within a couple of blocks of certain cell towers. In this type of situation the stronger cellphone signal simply blocks the receiver from detecting the Public Safety signal.

    When we determined exactly what frequencies were in conflict we notified the telcos, who would then discontinue use of that particular frequency at that particular location.

    So the potential for this sort of thing is well known to the FCC. Again, I cannot begin to fathom how this was allowed to happen with respect to the radar altimeters. 3.98 ghz and 4+ ghz are simply too close for comfort.
  • edited January 2022
    Following up on yogibearbull's post above, this video was referenced by that M*post:

    It shows a zero visibility automated landing at the Milan International airport, and it's well worth a watch. At the beginning it seems as if there's no motion at all... be patient.

    If you happened to be flying on this aircraft would you be concerned that the radio altimeters were working correctly?
  • Here's a current article from the Wall Street Journal which pretty well sums up the whole fiasco. The link is free to non-subscribers:

    ‘It Wasn’t Our Finest Hour’

  • Just another case of kicking the CAN down the road !
  • See

    Kudlow was a college classmate of mine, Porsche-driving (iirc) SDS leader
  • edited January 2022
    Apologies @derf............your thread has drifted a bit.


    I'm not able to access the NYT article. What is the Kudlow reference to/for SDS?
    From a generational (age group) knowledge/view, my first thought when I see the letters, SDS, is: Students for a Democratic Society (radical political organization of the 1960s).
    They held their first meeting in 1960 on the University of Michigan campus at Ann Arbor.

    --- The Weatherman Group (formed in 1969)

    The Weatherman Group was an anti-war and anti-government group within the Students for a Democratic Society that became popular in the 1960s for speaking out against America's role in the Vietnam War. The group was mainly made up of affluent college students.

    Free Dictionary terms for SDS

  • did you try a privacy or incognito session and/or a different browser?
  • @catch22- following is the pertinent text from the NYT article. The SDS reference re Kudlow is interesting but not germane to the topic.
    The F.A.A. also argues that it was excluded from decisions about 5G. In 2020, the F.A.A. administrator, Stephen Dixon, prepared a letter to ... the F.C.C., expressing concerns about 5G interference, but the letter was not passed along by ... the acting director of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

    Larry Kudlow, who headed President Donald Trump’s National Economic Council, even bragged about blowing off the F.A.A., saying on his Fox Business show, “We ignored them because the science said don’t worry about it.” He added later, “We actually fought the F.A.A. and we won.”

    It appears now that the Trump administration won the battle but not the war. One result of the extended conflict between the F.C.C. and the F.A.A. is that even now, nearly a year after the spectrum for 5G was auctioned off, the F.A.A. is still at the stage of information-gathering as it moves toward eventually issuing new requirements for radar altimeters. It is likely to take five years for all altimeters to be upgraded.
    In my opinion the FAA is now and always has been notoriously slow in staying on top of evolving safety issues. They have been criticized many times by the NTSB for inaction on known or potential safety problems. In this case apparently they at least went through the motions of trying to participate in resolving the 5G issues, but were rebuffed by the Trump administration.

    The NYT article also mentions that there are technological fixes for radio interference by using various types of filters, and/or by redesign of the radio altimeters themselves. This is true to a point, the but installation of filters in the affected aircraft may very well introduce other problems, and of course modifying or replacing the altimeters will be a very costly procedure likely involving significant aircraft downtime. As usual, money is involved, so we have potential winners and losers.

    It's quite possible that rather than engage in an unproductive inter-agency fight the FAA elected to let the airlines themselves carry the fight to the FCC. These people are masters at this sort of thing. This is what I meant in my post up above where I said that "something is really smelly here.".

  • @Old_Joe
    Thank you. And yes, Kudlow having some time with the SDS is of no consequence to the subject.
  • edited January 2022
    Sigh. I would not want to quip too subtly for the room, but veteran business writer Peter Coy's report in toto is interesting not only about FAA imputed pokiness (all the moreso given OJ's take) but also about gov stymying of its own agency as Kudlow brags of and takes such pride in.

    Especially since DSP can indeed readily solve things:
    “This is very, very easily solved technically,” said Theodore Rappaport, a developer of 5G technology who is a professor at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. “It’s frustrating as an engineer” to see the old technology still in use, he said. The F.A.A.’s argument is that it couldn’t issue a new standard for radar altimeters without knowing in detail the design of the 5G equipment. Etc.

    Kudlow's comical college history was on point for anyone familiar with his years of divisive rightwing free-market blathering in economics and policy as Trump's NEC head, and before --- here crowing about beating the gov agency crucially charged w air safety. Seriously.

    A commenter makes the point plainly but without any classmate jokes about a former Porsche-driving SDS leader who (sort of) reversed course in life:

    ... Ajit Pai [FCC], Larry Kudlow, and the rest of the clown car went to Washington to let industry, in this case the communications industry, do anything they pleased. Maybe that was based on their childlike faith that markets cure all ills and government can only do wrong. But the result was that administrative agencies whose job was nonprofit things like, you know, not crashing airplanes had no voice in the Trump government, and businesses such as telecom has no one watching who cared about consequences. The result was predictable. The wonder is that no one has died as a result. Yet.
  • Note the description in the quote
    "the acting director of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration"

    I believe I read in a different news story that Trump had never appointed a Director of NTIA. So nobody was really in charge.
  • I wondered if any of you good people would pick up on that. Good job!
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