By John Ikani
Fears that the proposed rollout of the 5G network may interfere with communications with aircraft have been put to rest by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Recently, major international airlines have started scrambling to modify or cancel flights to the United States amid uncertainty about potential interference between new 5G cell phone services and critical airplane technologies.
Although no fewer than 40 countries have successfully deployed 5G networks without recording cases of interference with other wireless services at similar power levels, there still exists a lot of confusion about 5G, air traffic, and safety.
Addressing the concern over the weekend, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt Musa Nuhu said Nigerians need not be alarmed because the concern raised is about interference with aircraft that are being controlled to land.
According to him, a critical component called radio altimeter; the spectrum by which this equipment operates is close to that of the 5G.
“So, they are afraid of interference from the radio altimeter and giving aircraft erroneous indication and during aircraft approach landing when they are about 2,500ft or so above the ground. Usually, it is for flights that are put to land,” Nuhu explained.
Relating the situation to Nigeria, he added “For us in Nigeria, we don’t have auto-landing authorisation, our flights don’t do auto landing. So, for now, it is of no concern to us, but we are still monitoring the situation, see the development if there are issues that might affect us, then, we will take the necessary action.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated it is committed for the 5G rollout, stating that the stage is set for the mobile network system which will commence in 2022.