Upgraded 5G rollout hits snags, marks the end of 3G

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That "5G Ultra Wideband" you may have been hearing about in phone ads is really just 5G on a different frequency, called "C band" — which should deliver faster internet.

Unfortunately, that C band frequency can interfere with a crucial system in airplanes: the altimeter which tells an aircraft how high or low it is. And that tool is pretty crucial for, in particular, landings.

Plus, while this new-and-improved 5G rolls out, we're seeing a rollback of 3G even though it's still widely used. Older cell phones, home security systems, life alert devices and even some cars made as recently as 2019 rely on 3G.

Hiawatha Bray, a technology and business reporter with The Boston Globe, joins us to take a look at the switch.

This segment aired on January 20, 2022.


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Tiziana Dearing Host, Radio Boston
Tiziana Dearing is the host of Radio Boston.


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Sarah Leeson Freelance Producer
Sarah Leeson was a freelance producer for WBUR's Radio Boston.



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