back to article 50 US airports to be surrounded by 5G C-band-free zones

Live close to an airport in US and have a 5G handset? The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released a promised list of major American airports to be surrounded by buffer zones that won't have 5G-C band service. The tech is slated to go live on January 19th. The selected 50 airports – which include JFK, LAX and SFO – …

  1. Borg.King
    Unhappy

    Billing credit?

    I live on the flight path into the two major airports listed in Seattle - do you think Verizon will give me a credit for not having full 5G service in my location?

    1. Tomato Krill

      Re: Billing credit?

      Yes

      Sorry, I mean no.

    2. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      Re: Billing credit?

      Find all the articles you can about that fact, print them out, & take them to your nearest physical store. Drop them on the counter, point out that you live in the exclusion zone, & ask for a refund of your supposedly unavailable 5G service.

      Either they will lie & claim you CAN get 5G service & there's nothing to worry about, or they will say they'll look into the matter. Either way, refuse to leave without said claim in writing, signed & dated by the highest level employee available. Said employee won't be authorized to make comittments on behalf of the company, but it begins the paper trail by which you can braid the rope you later use to hang them by.

      Give them no more than thirty (30) days to come up with the billing credit, then complain again in writing. Continue to complain in writing, retaining all their written crap in reply, until you get the "permanent" reduction of your bill.

      If they refuse, send said paper trail to your local newspaper's consumer advocate/letters to the editor section. It's not quite like the guy that spent a bucket of money to get his question published in a major national paper to dropkick his ISP into getting their ass in gear, but it may have the same effect.

      You can also, if you have such accounts, post to the various social media outlets to publicly name & shame the carrier into publicly making it right.

      *Hands you a bottle of extra strength anti-headache medacin*

      I'd offer you a pint to wash those down, but booze is contra-indicated for most pharmaceuticals. =-/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Billing credit?

        You can be a thorn in the sides but they could just use the old Sprint tactic. The customers that complained the most got a notice saying they had 30-days to find a new carrier before their service would be terminated.

        Chances are, the contract the customer signed said 5G won't be available everywhere. So all the customer will end up doing is finding that they need to switch carriers now since they will be forced too.

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sprint/sprint-ditches-customers-who-complain-too-much-idUSN0925309620070709

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: Billing credit?

          They are going to turn off the transmitters close to the airports - this might mean a lot more transmitters outside the regulated area to support their customers, not the airplane pilots.

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Billing credit?

      Who says you're entitled to 5G using C band where you live just because they had planned to make it available and have to delay for six months? There are plenty of other 5G frequencies that have or will be made available other than those, and they might even speed up the deployment of some in areas that have to delay C band deployment.

    4. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Billing credit?

      Thought you were "entitled to 5G service"? Better read your contract again. Every feature of every mobile provider has the caveat "where available" to CTA. If you are out in the sticks and getting 2G level service, you can't complain since there may not be any better available.

      In the US, there are three main providers: AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Everybody else is reselling bandwidth on their towers.

  2. spold Silver badge

    So in your airplane seatback...

    ...there will now be a tinfoil hat as well as the sickbag?

    1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      Re: So in your airplane seatback...

      In a cost saving move that surprises noone, the two items will be combined into one. =-Jp

  3. Snake Silver badge

    Simply stunning

    "The buffer zones are designed to keep wireless signals and aircraft separate following reports that the 3.7 GHz band used by the 5G C-band could harmfully interfere with civilian aircraft radar altimeters."

    The level of stupidity in today's world is simply STUNNING. Can *anyone* give me a believable reason why the 5G C-band wasn't tested for possible interference with ANY existing important infrastructure BEFORE the FCC even bothered to initiate the spectrum sale?? And then the development of the 5G C-band standards?? And then during the development of the actual electronic transceivers??

    No wonder the world is fscked up. The people in charge only manage, on a reoccurring basics, to show how utterly incompetent they are. Nothing, not even not working according to plans, shall interfere...with the promise of grand future profits.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Simply stunning

      Because there are hundreds of MHz separating the 5G frequencies from the frequencies used by aircraft and it was assumed no aircraft could be using equipment so crappy it would be affected?

      1. Snake Silver badge

        Re: hundreds of MHz of separation...

        And that's why "ASS-u-ME" has a metaphor attached to it.

        It is a *very* dangerous business. Especially when it comes to doing so towards aluminium cans that fly through the air...

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: hundreds of MHz of separation...

          While I agree, the real failure was when such crappy equipment was certified airworthy in the first place.

  4. nobody1111

    Ok, calm down. The word "interfere" can have lots of meanings. In this case it is not what most people mean by "interfere". The two services are on two different bands and would normally not be a problem.

    The issue is due to some of the aircraft receivers are overly sensitive to out-of-band transmissions. Google "front end overload" for discussions of the type of issue we are dealing with. The telcos are arguing that their equipment is producing a clean signal within their assigned band. Which appears to be true. They are then saying that it isn't their fault some aircraft have (arguably) defective equipment. Which is a valid point.

    The airlines are complaining because they bought equipment the FAA approved as safe and now all of a sudden it may not work due to the Telco's action. Which is also a valid argument, though I think it is a bit weak.

    There are two simple fixes. The telcos can spend a lot of money and purchase and install special antennas that will not allow any emissions above a certain height. Or the airlines can spend a lot of money purchase and install new equipment without this weakness. The battle isn't over the problem. The battle is over who will pay for it.

    1. Snake Silver badge

      But that's why you test things in the real world, regardless of what your theories state should work.

      The theory was sufficient channel separation. The reality, however, fails to factor in all the variables of sensitivity, sideband and noise rejection, and most importantly how many people will be in those flying tin cans if something goes wrong.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The issue is due to some of the aircraft receivers are overly sensitive to out-of-band transmissions. Google "front end overload" for discussions of the type of issue we are dealing with. The telcos are arguing that their equipment is producing a clean signal within their assigned band. Which appears to be true. They are then saying that it isn't their fault some aircraft have (arguably) defective equipment. Which is a valid point."

      But the FCC handles spectrum and part of requirements is that interference might be present and that the equipment needs to deal with it.

      "This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation."

    3. Jim Whitaker
      FAIL

      1. Is the 5G equipment operating within FCC rules?

      2. Is the aircraft equipment working within FAA rules?

      Discussion can only proceed to the next stage (more questions, not solutions) once those two qauestions have been answered.

    4. 23Badger

      There’s an FCC rule that states:

      "This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation."

      So if the FCC compliant equipment isn’t actually complaint, or the FCC’s compliancy specifications aren’t up for the job. Either way, this is an FCC issue really. And if their specification is tight enough then they ought to be checking that the masts or planes equipment is actually compliant.

  5. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
    Facepalm

    There goes the target market

    Who has money to spend on 5G hardware? People who probably fly a lot (either Important-Business/Govmint-People or Frequent-Vacationers). And where do they want 5G the most? The airport, naturally, when they're either catching up from their previous flight or doing Super Important Stuff before the next one. They're paying for 5G service so they don't have to purchase premium airport WiFi that's better than the "free" tier for the commoners. This agreement will certainly not make these customers happy.

    Which makes me wonder: Will the terminal structure serve as an attenuator if AT&T/Verizon install 5G C-band antennas *inside* the airport terminals?

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: There goes the target market

      I expect that 5G antenna will need to be deployed inside of airport terminals. Big steel buildings do a fair job of shielding high frequency radio signals. The premise behind 5G was higher frequency for more bandwidth and more towers running at lower power for more fixed stations to handle the traffic. The additional towers are needed for better line of sight as well.

      I don't live neck deep in my phone and don't visit passenger airports, so none of this impacts me. This reminds me that I need to go and badger someone I know for a ride in his Mig-15 when he will be flying solo.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Cheap land for sale, buy now!

    The tin-foil hat brigade is on to a winner here!

    - cheap airport perimeter land

    - no 5G (cough covid cough)

    - close to transport

    1. batfink Silver badge

      Re: Cheap land for sale, buy now!

      damn - beat me to it...

    2. BazNav
      Joke

      Re: Cheap land for sale, buy now!

      But what about the residual chemicals from deploying the chem trails?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "have agreed to turn off transmitters near the 50 airports for six months"

    Erm... they're not actually going to turn them off. They just need to be mapped not to use the C-band round airports, so you might see a drop in speed at peak times because there are fewer available channels but other than that you get full 5G.

    It's not going to make a difference to the telcos or the service they provide... if you got crap service you are probably still going to get crap service

  8. jollyboyspecial Bronze badge

    So all the tinfoil hats can move near airports to avoid 5G. And then become nimbys and complain about aircraft noise instead.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the type of pissing contest that killed Lightsquared satellite Internet (although ISTR the concern was with GPS signals).

    Problem was AT&T and Verizon can afford better lobbyists than Phil Falcone.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny how those american planes arent falling out of the sky in europe... which is using 5g. FAA are being morons.

  11. mtp
    WTF?

    Which 5G?

    There is so much confusion in the press between 5G the communication protocol (which is about as significant as talking in french instead of german) and 5 GHz the RF frequency. They just don't get it.

    Whisper - no one tell them that 5G phones might run at well above 5 GHz - they might panic even more especially if they discover that the screen they are looking at emits radiation at 50000 GHz!

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