Engineer Gbenga Adebayo, the chairman of Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), has said that claims that fifth generation network (5G) causes obstruction to aviation signals is just another conspiracy theory against 5G deployment.
As he reacted to the rumoured claims that forced many international airlines to cancel a host of flights to most US cities over the fears of 5G, he further describe the claim as strange.
Reports emerged few days ago that international airlines are cancelling scheduled flights to most cities in the United States over fear of 5G network interference on aviation signals around most US cities.
The flight cancellations were based on perceived fears that 5G deployment in some cities in the US would cause serious disruption to aviation signals around the airports.
This was despite Verizon and AT&T agreeing to temporarily limit the launch of the new C-Band 5G service around some airports after airline chief executives warned it could cause “catastrophic” disruptions
In his chat with ThisDay, Adebayo said it was strange to read that international airlines were cancelling flight to some cities in the US, because of perceived fears that 5G network would cause obstruction to aviation signals.
According to Chairman of ALTON, “There are no known reports that 5G could cause obstruction to aviation signals.
“Nigeria is about to deploy 5G network and there should be no fears about perceived 5G network disruption to aviation signals in Nigeria. All these are part of the conspiracy theories originating from those campaigning against 5G deployments.”
Adebayo further said: “It will be really strange for British Airways and Emirates to cancel scheduled flights to some cities in America because of fear of disruption of aviation signals coming from 5G network. It will be nice to know the reaction of the Office of Communications (OFCOM), the body that regulates broadcasting and telecommunications in the United Kingdom (UK), since 5G network had since been deployed in the UK, without complaints of interference to aviation signals.
“There are lots of conspiracy theories about 5G network deployment, but unfortunately, there are no proofs to these conspiracy theories.”
According to him, “if British Airways said it was cancelling flights to US for fear of 5G network interference, I will certainly like to know what OFCOM, the telecoms regulator in the UK, where British Airways operate, would say about it.
“In the UK, there are 5G network deployment and there had been no complain of 5G interference on aviation signals in the UK. So why will the case in US be different, if not for the unfounded conspiracy theories around 5G network deployment?”
He explained that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had carried out trial test on 5G network rollout in some cities in Nigeria, before coming to the conclusion of the planned deployment of 5G in Nigeria this year.
After the trial test, NCC told telecoms operators that 5G was good for rollout in Nigeria because there were no observed case of interruption to aviation signals, during the trial test, Adebayo said.
Reacting to the planned cancellation of flights to US by Emirates and the British Airways, Adebayo said he would like to know what kind of interference the airlines were talking about, and at what distance does such interference occur, and what band of signal does the 5G network affect. Is it with data communication, voice communication or their navigation system? Adebayo questioned.
Adebayo, the ALTON chair explained that the C-Band frequency which aviation industry uses has very wide frequency, with many layers of spectrum.
He said even though both the telecoms operators and the aviation industry use C-Band for their operations, it would not create interference because of the distance, since the band ranges between four and eight GigaHertz (4-8GHz), which he said, were distant apart.
The Chairman of ALTON added that apart from the distance in the spectrum, there were also firewalls to protect different applications within the spectrum.
“Again, before operators can deploy any equipment on 5G, there is quality assurance test that they must carry out on the equipment to ensure there will be no interference of any kind,” Adebayo said.
Telecoms experts had earlier raised the alarm that the aviation industry and the aircraft manufacturers, including the military, were jostling for the control of 5G networks for their operations, insinuating that they would not want 5G networks to be used for communications by telecoms operators, which corroborates Adebayo’s views about the ongoing conspiracy theories on global 5G deployment.