After warnings from the aviation industry of chaos in air traffic, the American telecommunications groups Verizon and AT&T have made cuts in the introduction of services with the new 5G mobile communications standard planned for Wednesday.

As they announced on Tuesday, they now want to initially restrict the 5G network around certain airports.

Roland Lindner

Business correspondent in New York.

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Timo Kotowski

Editor in Business.

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At the beginning of the week, the CEOs of airlines such as United Airlines and Delta Air Lines as well as logistics groups such as UPS and Fedex warned of a possible “catastrophic disruption” and the risk of extensive flight cancellations in a letter to the Department of Transportation and the FAA.

"The nation's commerce will come to an abrupt halt," the letter said.

How is the situation in Germany?

The warnings related to security concerns surrounding 5G technologies. So-called C-band frequencies are to be used for this, and there is concern that the aircraft technology could be disrupted by interference. In concrete terms, it is primarily about altimeters, which play an important role when aircraft are landing, especially in difficult lighting conditions. The airlines asked not to allow the implementation of 5G within two miles of runways at certain airports.

The telecom industry says 5G technology is safe and is already being deployed in dozens of countries.

Verizon and AT&T have announced other concessions in recent weeks to mitigate any security risks, and they've already pushed back the launch of their 5G systems, originally planned for December, by a few weeks.

According to current knowledge, there is no threat of impairments from the new mobile communications standard at German airports.

In Germany, frequency ranges below 3.7 gigahertz are used for 5G, in the United States also above.

The German air traffic control had dealt with possible 5G consequences in the past, but did not see any possible problems like in America.

Aircraft radar altimeters use frequencies of 4.2 to 4.4 gigahertz, the distance to the German 5G is considered sufficiently large.

An antenna that transmits at 3.6 gigahertz has been in operation near Berlin Airport for some time.

If additional capacities become necessary as part of the expansion of mobile communications, 5G could become a major issue for German aviation.

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