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US seeks new 5G delay to study interference with planes

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Airlines corporations are asking the Federal Communications Commission to postpone AT&T and Verizon’s 5G deployments that companies previously agreed to a one-month delay.

US authorities have asked telecom operators AT&T and Verizon to delay for up to two weeks the already postponed rollout of 5G networks amid uncertainty about interference with vital flight safety equipment.

The US rollout of the high-speed mobile broadband technology had been set for December 5, but was delayed to January 5 after aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing raised concerns about potential interference with the devices planes use to measure altitude.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the Head of the Federal Aviation Administration, Steve Dickson, asked for the latest delay in a letter sent on Friday to AT&T and Verizon, two of the country’s biggest telecom operators.

The US letter asked the companies to “continue to pause introducing commercial C-Band service” — the frequency range used for 5G — “for an additional short period of no more than two weeks beyond the currently scheduled deployment date of January 5.”

The companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

READ MORE: US to increase 5G growth by auctioning off midband spectrum

Co-existence of 5G and safe flight

The US officials’ letter assures the companies that 5G service will be able to begin “as planned in January with certain exceptions around priority airports.”

The officials say their priority has been “to protect flight safety, while ensuring that 5G deployment and aviation operations can co-exist.”

Last February, Verizon and AT&T were authorised to start using 3.7-3.8 GHz frequency bands on December 5, after obtaining licenses worth tens of billions of dollars.

But when Airbus and Boeing raised their concerns about possible interference with airplanes’ radio altimeters — which can operate in the same frequencies — the launch date was pushed back to January.

The FAA requested further information about the instruments, and it issued directives limiting the use of altimeters in certain situations, which sparked airline fears over the potential costs.

When Verizon and AT&T wrote to federal authorities in November to confirm their intention to start deploying 5G in January, they said they would take extra precautions beyond those required by US law until July 2022 while the FAA completes its investigation.

The conflict between 5G networks and aircraft equipment led French authorities to recommend switching off mobile phones with 5G on planes in February.

France’s civil aviation authority said interference from a signal on a nearby frequency to the radio altimeter could cause “critical” errors during landing.

READ MORE: Europe needs to invest $355B into telecom by 2025 for 5G rollout

Source: AFP / AFP

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COVID 19

England lifts COVID-19 pandemic restriction-Omicron marks end of the pandemic.

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England has lifted its restrictions implemented in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking at a press conference at Downing Street, Health Secretary Sajid Javad stated that the England will be lifting the restrictions implemented in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but the legal requirement to self-isolate if tested positive for the virus will continue.

While Health Secretary Sajid Javad stated that it was a major milestone, he also stated that “It’s not the end of the road and we shouldn’t see this as the finish line because we cannot eradicate this virus and its future variants. Instead we must learn to live with Covid in the same way we have to live with flu”.

This has also meant that the work-from-home guidance would be ending with the majority of the nation’s workforce reverting to pre-pandemic work schedules. Additionally, students will also be no longer required to wear masks at schools.

Moreover, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also confirmed that the Government plans to end the legal requirement for positive cases to isolate by late March, but may move the date forward.

The U.S. has also hinted that the pandemic may be heading towards an end. Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci has stated that the Omicron variant may mark the end of the pandemic.

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New Japanese Ambassador Takeuchi Midori presents her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

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The new Japanese ambassador to the Maldives, Takeuchi Midori has presented her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Ambassador Takeuchi Midori presented her credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at a special ceremony held earlier today at the President’s Office.

Speaking at the ceremony President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih noted on the Ambassador Takeuchi Midori’s predecessor Keiko Yanai’s work in enhancing bilateral relations between the two nations. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih expressed hope in continuing to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two nations under Ambassador Takeuchi Midori tenure.

Ambassador Takeuchi Midori also spoke at the ceremony, noting that this year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Maldives and Japan. She expressed hope that the two nations would work together on regional and global issues.

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China’s homemade C919 passenger plane to be delivered this year

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China’s self-developed C919 large passenger aircraft will be delivered within this year, The Paper reported on Wednesday, citing its developer.

Wu Yongliang, deputy general manager of the Shanghai-based Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), said the pandemic’s impact on the C919 project has been controllable, and the work is progressing in an orderly manner.

American aerospace manufacturer Boeing and France-based Airbus have long been the so-called duopoly in the commercial airline market worth trillions of U.S. dollars.

The C919, as part of China’s goal to develop homemade civil airplanes, is trying to rival with medium-range aircraft from the two global giants, such as Airbus’s A320 and Boeing’s 737 MAX.

C919 has 158 to 168 seats, a standard range of 4,075 kilometers and a maximum range of 5,555 kilometers. It had its successful maiden flight in 2017.

China Eastern Airlines, one of the country’s largest airlines also headquartered in Shanghai, signed a contract to buy five C919 jetliners from COMAC in March 2021.

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