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Experts Warn 5G Smartphones Could Interfere With Aircraft

Air passengers using 5G smartphones have been urged to turn them off while travelling on planes after it was revealed the new technology could disrupt landing gear.

According to the French civil aviation authority, 5G technology could fatally disrupt critical aircraft instruments due to signal interference from the device.

The 5G signals could potentially block crucial data coming from altimeters which instruct pilots how high above sea level the aircraft is flying.

“The utilisation of 5G devices onboard aircraft could lead to risks of interference that could potentially result in errors in altitude readings,” a spokesperson for the agency said.

The agency sent out a bulletin to airlines recommending customers turn off 5G phones completely or keep them in ‘airplane’ mode for the duration of flights.

This is not a relatively new requirement as many airlines ask passengers to keep phones on airplane mode during take-off and landing. However, some flights allow mobile phone use and even have on-board masts to allow for phone calls.

5G allows for faster connectivity and higher download speeds for internet users. It uses much higher frequency (3 to 300GHz) radio waves than 3G or 4G.

The French agency also warned airlines to be aware of where 5G base stations are located to limit the risk of interference.

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