India asks telecoms not to install 5G base stations near airports

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone not to install C-band 5G base stations within the 2.1 km range of Indian airports with immediate effect.
C-band 5G base stations
A part of the telecom industry believes that C-Band 5G can create problems with the aircraft’s radio (radar) altimeters, which they rely on during takeoff and landing, and to help avoid crashing into mountains, IANS reported.

DoT sent a letter to telecoms saying the telecom service providers (TSPs) are advised that in the area 2,100 meters from both ends of runway and 910 meters from centre line of runway of Indian Airports shall have no 5G/ IMT base stations in the 3,300-3,670 MHz.

DoT said the 5G base station, nodal or repeater installed in the periphery of 540 metres surrounding the area, the maximum power must be limited to 58 dBm/ MHz in 3,300-3,670 MHz range.
5G base stations marketAirtel has installed 5G base stations at airports in Nagpur, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Guwahati and Pune. Reliance Jio has installed 5G base stations in the Delhi-NCR area.

India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has provided the buffer and safety zone sketch and has requested to ensure mitigation measures while implementing C-band 5G spectrum, in and around the airport areas in view of the safety concerns for operation of aircrafts.

The DoT asked telecom providers to ensure downward tilting of 5G base stations to an extent such that the 5G emissions do not interfere with radio altimeters.

The new rule will be applicable till the replacement of all aircraft Radio Altimeters filters is ensured by the DGCA.

Pilots in the US are reporting frequent problems with the aircraft’s radio (radar) altimeters as high-speed 5G wireless networks roll out across the world.

Meanwhile, the latest Ericsson Mobility Report said India will have around 690 million 5G subscriptions by 2028 representing around 53 percent of mobile subscriptions. 5G subscriptions in India are expected to reach around 31 million by the end of this year, the report said.