5G mobile communications technology is a tread breaking up-gradation in mobile networking. But it could have a harmful impact on weather forecasting in the United States, based on expert testimony presented before a U.S. House committee during a hearing on the future of weather forecasting.
Interference from 5G wireless phones could reduce the accuracy of weather forecasts by 30 percent, said Neil Jacobs, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere at NOAA. Jacobs made the remarks to members of the Environment Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
The accurate weather is an important factor for disaster preparedness and recovery, noted the Aerospace Industries Association, an industry advocacy group, in a letter to the committee so the consumers and government agencies rely on it.
“Interference-free radio frequency spectrum communications that allow for accurate readings make these applications possible,” the AIA maintained.
“Unfortunately, today’s spectrum reality could directly impact the future of accurate weather readings,” the association continued. “Spectrum is a finite resource and as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) looks to free up spectrum for emerging technologies like 5G, the risk of interference with existing users rises, in both the incumbent band and the adjacent bands.”
The risks to weather forecasting came to light as the FCC prepared to auction off the 24 GHz spectrum, according to the letter.
“While it was a multi-year process to get to the auction itself, it is unclear if the proper testing to ensure that harmful interference with weather equipment in the directly adjacent band would not take place had been conducted fully,” the organization asserted.
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