There are concerns that the frequency of 5G networks could interfere with critical navigation devices that could affect airport safety.
Due to airport security considerations, the Canadian government announced that people living near airports would not have 5G connectivity. The announcement comes weeks after Canadian telecoms spent $9 billion to acquire spectrum licenses 5G in July 2021. This new announcement could cut some expected revenue for the telecom company, and they expressed concern.
Regulations around airports will result in thousands of 5G users losing full use of their phones in restricted areas due to concerns that 5G network frequencies could interfere with critical navigation devices that could affect airport safety. One of the nation’s telecommunications companies, Telus Canada, said the decision could cost up to $100 million in revenue.
The company was somewhat surprised that the proposed technical changes would spoil a large amount of spectrum it won at auction. The comments were submitted on September 2 to the country’s Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED). Telus also noted separately that the mobile industry was surprised by the Canadian government’s move and the implications of this policy.
The 5G spectrum license is being auctioned by ISED and has stated that it will hold brief consultations and then implement the new restrictions that will apply at airports where automatic landings are permitted. Restrictions will be applied on an individual airport basis. At Toronto’s Pearson International airport, no 5G stations are allowed in the vast space that includes parts of Etobicoke, Brampton, Downsview, and Mississippi.
According to Gizmochina (October 12), residents in the affected areas will not be able to enjoy the required 5G services. The quantum of potential 5G users who will be affected by these new restrictions is still speculative, but it could have a big impact.
Research indicates the potential risk of interference due to 5G connectivity, especially at airports. Several countries have also implemented mitigation measures.
It remains to be seen how telecom operators will navigate through the restrictive regimen, and whether there are some remedial steps for telecom companies. Telus insists that there are other options open to regulators so as not to harm the interests of telecommunications companies interests while still ensuring security.