The new 5G network promises to revolutionise mobile telecommunications. But it could also push telecommunications companies onto the frequencies used by the Bureau of Meteorology’s weather radars, indirectly putting the accuracy of weather information at risk.
|A weather radar mast at Wagga Wagga, NSW.|
The issue stems from a federal government proposal to auction off part of the 3.6 gigahertz frequency band for use by the new 5G network. In turn, regional internet service providers who currently use this frequency band would be moved to the 5.6GHz band – which is already used by weather radars.
The move – which is open for public consultation until June 29 – has prompted concerns that the full implications of the proposal have not been properly considered. Potential problems with this sharing arrangement include interference that might manifest as “fake” rain clouds on weather radars. More broadly, it sets a precedent for spectrum sharing, which may be a concern for others, including the Defence department.
Read the story from The Conversation by the Director of Defence Research and Engagement from the Edith Cowan University, Andrew Dowse - “The 5G network threatens to overcrowd the airwaves, putting weather radar at risk.”