by Akoustis|March 4, 2022

The future is 5G

5G is the fifth generation of mobile connectivity, introducing features that did not previously exist. 5G offers the opportunity to live in a fully connected world with faster speeds, increased connectivity across even more devices, and almost no latency. This would allow more technologies to be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), increasing bandwidth to move signals.4 5G provides the foundation for future advancements, allowing compatibility for services that have yet to be realized, and many exciting opportunities for commercial applications. 

However, rolling out 5G in the United States has happened in phases due to potential disruptions to aircraft operations. In the US, 5G operates on bands slightly below the frequencies of altimeters and flight systems. This leaves little gap between the bands that 5G and aviation equipment operate at, introducing the opportunity for interrupted signals.

FAA addressing 5G concerns

Because of this risk, the rollout of 5G has been carefully monitored. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the aviation industry have warned that interference from 5G can “impact sensitive airplane electronics like radio altimeters.”5 There are several factors that impact performance between radio altimeter receiver manufacturers, including if “they are equipped with good filters.”2

Companies such as AT&T and Verizon have voluntarily agreed to delay the rollouts of their 5G networks to provide time for a safe implementation.6 The FAA has addressed these concerns by introducing testing data to “safely enable additional 5G deployment.”5

What 5G means for aviation

There are many use cases of 5G in aviation, specifically low altitude airspace, such as data sharing.3 Davis Hackenberg, the Advanced Air Mobility project manager for NASA, told Avionics International, “NASA is exploring communications, navigations systems (CNS) architectures and technologies for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) that will satisfy safety-critical service requirements for high-volume, high-density operations in and around urban airspace.”3 This application allows for electric and hybrid-electric aircraft.3

Additionally, there are numerous proven commercial applications for 5G in areas such as satellite technology.6 To reduce signal loss from Earth-observing aircrafts and satellite technology, NASA adapted isolators that are compatible with 5G networks.6 Many agencies have been extremely interested in the reliability, performance, and capacity of 5G.

5G and the role of Akoustis

The most economical choice when rolling out new 5G networks is a balanced mix of increased spectrum with a high density of small cell sites. This provides effective and efficient coverage, capacity, and cost. To get the most out of small cell devices, Akoustis offers innovative, ultra-wideband, high-performance XBAWTM processes and filters that will give 5G small cell devices the power to manage best-in-class performance and data throughput. Our patented technology provides the highest quality filtering to help with isolation between 5G networks and altimeters operating between 4.2 GHz and 4.4 GHz.

5G can help us to realize a fully connected world, with life-changing applications, including those that have not yet been imagined,1 and Akoustis is playing an integral role in the rollout of 5G across the globe. Our patented XBAWTM filter technology provides superior performance needed to overcome the limitations of incumbent RF filter technologies.1

Explore cutting-edge solutions with Akoustis. Contact us here.


1Akoustis Technologies. (2020, August 1). The Future of Connectivity: 5g and WiFi 6e.

2Belton, P. (2022, January 17). Why does 5G only pose a problem for US airplanes? Light Reading.

3Garrett-Glaser, B., & Bellamy III, W. (2020, June). What will 5G bring to the aviation industry? Avionics International, June/July 2020.

4Fenkell, M. (2019, February). Aerospace and 5G: Realizing the future. Aerospace Industries Association. 

5Shepardson, D. (2022, February 3). U.S. FAA sees “minimal disruptions” to air travel from 5G amid safety concerns. Reuters.

6Streiff, L. (2020, December 17). NASA Earth science technologies developed for space, applied at home. NASA.