Why airlines fear 5G will upend travel this week?

Why airlines fear 5G will upend travel this week?
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Updated 19 January 2022

Why airlines fear 5G will upend travel this week?

Why airlines fear 5G will upend travel this week?

AT&T and Verizon will postpone new wireless service near some airports planned for this week after the nation’s largest airlines said the service would interfere with aircraft technology and cause massive flight disruptions.
AT&T said Tuesday it would delay turning on new cell towers around runways at some airports — it did not say how many — and work with federal regulators to settle the dispute.
Verizon said it will launch its new 5G network but added, “we have voluntarily decided to limit our 5G network around airports.”
The moves came after the airline industry raised the stakes in a showdown with AT&T and Verizon over plans to launch 5G wireless service this week, warning that thousands of flights could be grounded or delayed if the rollout takes place near major airports.

WHOSE SIDE IS THE GOVERNMENT ON?
Both.
The Federal Communications Commission, which runs the auctions of radio spectrum, determined that C-Band could be used safely in the vicinity of air traffic. The FCC in 2020 set a buffer between the 5G band and the spectrum that planes use to resolve any safety concerns.
But Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson, whose agency is responsible for aviation safety, saw a potential problem. On Friday, they asked AT&T and Verizon to hold off activating C-Band 5G near an undetermined number of “priority airports” while the FAA conducted further study.

HOW DID AT&T AND VERIZON RESPOND?
They dismissed the concerns. The wireless industry trade group CTIA notes that about 40 countries have deployed the C-Band strand of 5G without reports of harmful interference with aviation equipment.
But AT&T CEO John Stankey and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg did offer to reduce the power of their 5G networks near airports, as France has done.
“The laws of physics are the same in the United States and France,” Stankey and Vestberg said in a letter Sunday to Buttigieg and Dickson. “If U.S. airlines are permitted to operate flights every day in France, then the same operating conditions should allow them to do so in the United States.”
Although they took steps to soothe the federal officials, the telecoms are still bickering with airlines, which have canceled more than 10,000 U.S. flights since Christmas Eve because of bad weather and labor shortages caused by COVID-19.
“While the airline industry faces many challenges, 5G is not one of them,” Vestberg said in a company memo Tuesday.

HOW MANY PLANES DOES THIS AFFECT?
Under the agreement, the FAA will conduct a survey to find out. The FAA will allow planes with accurate, reliable altimeters to operate around high-power 5G. But planes with older altimeters will not be allowed to make landings under low-visibility conditions.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS?
The two-week postponement will give the FAA and the companies time to implement the agreement.
AT&T and Verizon will be allowed to launch C-Band service this month under already-granted FCC licenses. The airlines have until Friday to give the companies a list of up to 50 airports where they believe the power of C-Band service should be reduced through July 5.
Until July, the telecoms will talk to the FAA and airlines about potential long-term measures regarding 5G service near airports. However, under terms of the agreement with the FAA, AT&T and Verizon will have sole power to decide if any changes in service will be made.
“We felt that it was the right thing to do for the flying public, which includes our customers and all of us, to give the FAA a little time to work out its issues with the aviation community and therefore avoid further inconveniencing passengers with additional flight delays,” Vestberg said in his memo.
Nicholas Calio, president of the airline trade group, was more muted in his comments about the agreement, although he thanked federal officials for reaching the deal with AT&T and Verizon.
“Safety is and always will be the top priority of U.S. airlines. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to help ensure that new 5G service can coexist with aviation safely,” Calio said.
The FAA issued a brief statement about the two-week delay, saying it looks forward "to using the additional time and space to reduce flight disruptions associated with this 5G deployment.”

 


Egypt In-Focus: Food exports to Malaysia surge 338% in Q1

Egypt In-Focus: Food exports to Malaysia surge 338% in Q1
Updated 14 sec ago

Egypt In-Focus: Food exports to Malaysia surge 338% in Q1

Egypt In-Focus: Food exports to Malaysia surge 338% in Q1

RIYADH: Egyptian food exports to Malaysia saw an increase in the first quarter of 2022 as compared to the same quarter in 2021. The government is stressing the need to promote financing green growth in the African continent. 

  • Food exports to Malaysia surged a record 338 percent during the first quarter of 2022 to reach $3.5 million, local newspaper Youm 7 reported.  The value of food exports to Malaysia during the corresponding quarter a year earlier stood at $800,000. This is a good opportunity to raise the volume of trade exchange between both countries, according to Tamim El-Dawy, deputy executive director of the Export Council for Food Industries.
  • Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat attended a panel discussion on financing green growth, local newspaper Youm 7 reported. She highlighted the importance of boosting multilateral cooperation as well as the crucial role of development banks and international institutions in promoting green growth in Africa.
  • The International Finance Corp., or IFC, has announced that it will be collaborating with Egyptian leading pharmaceutical company Rameda in an attempt to back the local firm’s green strategy, enhance its production efficiency, and boost overall productivity. The IFC is aiming to do so by assisting Rameda in adopting solutions that will help it reduce its carbon as well as water footprint in addition to improving competences in materials and resource utilization, Daily News Egypt reported.
  • Over 2.14 million tons of wheat have been collected from farmers all over Egypt, reflecting high efficiency in terms of the operating wheat supply system, local newspaper Egypt Today reported, citing Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. 

Saudi Arabia’s public debt edges up at end of 1Q as new domestic debt exceeds repayment

Saudi Arabia’s public debt edges up at end of 1Q as new domestic debt exceeds repayment
Updated 16 min 48 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s public debt edges up at end of 1Q as new domestic debt exceeds repayment

Saudi Arabia’s public debt edges up at end of 1Q as new domestic debt exceeds repayment

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s public debt increased by just over 2 percent to SR958 billion ($256 billion) at the end of the first quarter of 2022, according to a quarterly report from the Ministry of Finance. 

The increase in public debt — which stood at SR938 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021 — was driven by higher domestic issuances combined with lower principal repayments. 

The “issuances and borrowings” by the Kingdom during the first quarter of 2022 totaled SR52.6 billion, while the repayment of principal over the same period was SR32 billion.

HIGHLIGHTS

The increase in public debt — which stood at SR938 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021 — was driven by higher domestic issuances combined with lower principal repayments. 

Saudi Arabia’s real GDP grew 9.6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022, the highest growth rate in 10 years.

The Kingdom’s public debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 30 percent as of Dec. 31, 2021.

The public debt level is SR20 billion higher than that projected by Saudi-based Jadwa Investments, which expected it to stay at SR938 billion in 2022 and 2023, according to a research report issued earlier this week.

Jadwa revised upward the firm's projection for the Kingdom’s nominal gross domestic product growth in 2022 to 22.8 percent year-on-year from the previous February estimate of 10.9 percent.  As a result the firm is now projecting a lower 2022 public debt-to-GDP ratio of 24.4 percent compared to 26.4 percent previously.  

In February, Jadwa cited a recent statement by the National Debt Management Center that “the funding requirement in 2022 would mainly focus on refinancing SR43 billion of debt, although it would remain opportunistic by exploring additional debt raising activities, depending on market conditions.”

Though public debt increased in the first quarter of 2022, the rise in public debt-to-gross domestic product ratio at year-end is likely to be capped by the strong growth in nominal GDP projected for the current year.

Saudi Arabia’s real GDP grew 9.6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022, the highest growth rate in 10 years, according to the General Authority for Statistics. The increase was driven by a significant increase in oil activities.

The Kingdom’s public debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 30 percent as of Dec. 31, 2021, data compiled by Arab News shows.


India In-Focus — Shares fall; JPMorgan downgrades India’s IT sector; Central threatens to curb domestic coal supply

India In-Focus — Shares fall; JPMorgan downgrades India’s IT sector; Central threatens to curb domestic coal supply
Updated 21 min 37 sec ago

India In-Focus — Shares fall; JPMorgan downgrades India’s IT sector; Central threatens to curb domestic coal supply

India In-Focus — Shares fall; JPMorgan downgrades India’s IT sector; Central threatens to curb domestic coal supply

MUMBAI: Indian shares dropped 2 percent on Thursday, weighed down by a broader market selloff, as investors dumped risky assets on worries over stubborn inflation and economic slowdown.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 1.95 percent at 15,924, as of 0353 GMT, with all its major sub-indexes in the negative territory, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 2.11 percent to 53,067.39.

JPMorgan downgrades India’s IT sector as pandemic boom fades

Soaring inflation, supply chain issues and the hit from the Ukraine war will bring an end to the growth boom India’s IT services industry enjoyed during the pandemic, JPMorgan analysts said on Thursday as they downgraded the sector to “underweight.”

The $194-billion sector whose software services helped businesses adapt to pandemic-era practices of online shopping and remote working is facing a demand slowdown this year as employees return to offices and the Russia-Ukraine war weighs on spending from clients in Europe.

“We see peak revenue growth behind us and EBIT margins trending down from inflation, mean reversion,” JPM said.

“While the bottom-up outlook remains positive from most Services, Software and SaaS names YTD, and the tech spending cycle remains buoyant structurally, we feel there are more downside risks to current earnings assumptions.”

The brokerage expects the slowdown to worsen in 2023 partly due to a potential decline in orders from the key market of the US, where economic growth has started to weaken.

It lowered Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, India’s top IT exporter, to “underweight” rating from “neutral” but stayed “overweight” on rival Infosys.

India threatens to curb domestic coal supply if utilities delay imports

India’s power ministry on Wednesday said it would cut domestic fuel supply to state government-run utilities by 5 percent if they do not import coal for blending by June 15, as officials struggle to address rising power demand.

A heatwave pushed power use to a record high in April, leading to the worst electricity crisis in more than six years and forcing India to reverse a policy to slash coal imports.

“If blending with domestic coal is not started by June 15, then the domestic allocation of the concerned defaulter thermal power plants will be further reduced by 5 percent,” the power ministry said in a statement.

It said state government-run utilities, most of which are debt-laden, will have to import more coal to fire their power plants due to reduced local supply if they delay placing orders and supplies do not arrive by June 15.

The power ministry has asked all utilities to ensure delivery of 50 percent of the allocated quantity by June 30, another 40 percent by end-August and the remaining 10 percent by the end of October.

(With input from Reuters) 


EU reveals $221bn plan to cut red tape and boost renewables: NRG matters

EU reveals $221bn plan to cut red tape and boost renewables: NRG matters
Updated 43 min 17 sec ago

EU reveals $221bn plan to cut red tape and boost renewables: NRG matters

EU reveals $221bn plan to cut red tape and boost renewables: NRG matters

RIYADH: The EU steps in once again with a new package aiming to boost renewables in favor of a clean future. Switzerland is also seen working on securing storage capacity ahead of winter. Meanwhile, America’s Caterpillar Inc is eyeing the energy transition as the main driver of the mining business as a whole. Other than that, Germany’s Uniper announced that it will continue importing natural gas from Russia for another decade. 

Looking through the bigger picture: 

·      The EU has revealed a $221 billion plan which aims to cut red tape and pave the way for renewables, Bloomberg reported.  The scheme also includes plans to ramp up liquified natural gas imports and lowering energy demand to reduce dependency on Russian supplies. Under the new plan, the EU wants to raise the renewables target to 45 percent of the bloc’s energy needs by 2030. 

·      Switzerland’s government and natural gas industry have announced that they will collaborate in an attempt to bolster storage capacity in nearby countries and guarantee additional supply sources before winter arrives, Reuters reported, citing the cabinet. This comes as the European country does not own any gas storage facilities. On top of this, gas constitutes an estimated 15 percent of the country’s overall energy consumption. 

Through a micro-lens:

·      American construction machinery and equipment firm Caterpillar Inc has announced that it believes that the energy transition will be a major driver for the mining business in the years to come. In the period between 2021 and 2024, the firm is targeting a global market with an accumulated worth of $5 trillion for energy transition-related infrastructure, Reuters reported, citing the firm’s CEO Jim Umpleby. 

·      German energy firm Uniper SE has announced that it will continue to import natural gas from Russia for another ten years despite Europe’s efforts to cut dependency on the country. This comes as the firm has contracts with Russian majority state-owned gas industry company Gazprom PJSC that is set to expire in the middle of the 2030s, Bloomberg reported, citing the corporation’s CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach.


GE to build two wind turbines in Yanbu Industrial City by end of 2022: Head of GE Saudi Arabia

GE to build two wind turbines in Yanbu Industrial City by end of 2022: Head of GE Saudi Arabia
Updated 50 min 15 sec ago

GE to build two wind turbines in Yanbu Industrial City by end of 2022: Head of GE Saudi Arabia

GE to build two wind turbines in Yanbu Industrial City by end of 2022: Head of GE Saudi Arabia
  • Separately, GE signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Aramco and the Saudi Electricity Company to develop a roadmap toward hydrogen and ammonia neutralization for power generation

DAMMAM: General Electric is set to build two wind turbines in Yanbu Industrial City, with a total capacity of 800 megawatts by the end of the year.

Yanbu is a port city on the Red Sea coast of western Saudi Arabia and hosts major downstream oil and petrochemicals facilities.

The area is managed by the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu.

GE said it plans to accelerate its renewable production of wind turbines and hybrid battery storage, as well as solar and hydrogen-related products, in line with the Saudi green initiative.

The US-based engineering giant is also a leading manufacturer of gas turbines, which work to limit carbon emissions.

 

“GE has a record of efficient gas turbines, which we were able to achieve with our technology development,” said Hisham Albahkali, the president of GE Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, in an exclusive interview with Arab News. “We have been able to reach the optimum efficiency, which gives less pollution and less carbon.”

Albahkali explained how the firm aims to optimize the output of its gas turbine production.

He said: “Gas turbines work on fossil fuel, but the idea is to burn hydrogen. So, the output of the gas turbine won’t be combined with hydrocarbons.”

Separately, GE signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Aramco and the Saudi Electricity Company to develop a roadmap toward hydrogen and ammonia neutralization for power generation and carbon capture on May 16.

“We have provided Aramco and SEC with one wind turbine each, and we are participating in several solutions with them for batteries,” Albahkali added on the sidelines of the MoU signing ceremony.

FASTFACT

SME focus

GE has enrolled around 200 local SMEs into workshop units to help them meet global energy standards.

“Human capital is important for us,” Albahkali said.

GE celebrated its 130th anniversary in April and has operated in the Kingdom for 90 years.