A group of scientific bodies has written to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in America to warn that the roll out of 5G mobile data could interfere with weather satellites, and have asked for an auction of radio spectrum for 5G uses to be delayed.
Interference caused by increased communications activity could delay the reporting of important weather information - which is particularly crucial in the event of a hurricane or severe stormy weather - according to the American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association.
They said in their joint letter: "[Weather networks are] crucially important for public safety and scientific research. The loss of seconds can mean the difference between safety and grave risk to life and property."
However, Ligado Networks - an organisation who wants to roll out 5G networks within a specific 1,675 to 1,680 MHz spectrum - has written its own letter to the FCC, claiming it needs to use the specified band.
They said: "[Failure to allow 5G use within the band would] lead to the inefficient allocation of this prime, lower mid-band spectrum - something the US can ill afford as it attempts to win the race to 5G."
The firm argues that weather forecasters could instead download weather data via internet services, however the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that process would be too slow.
The three meteorological organisations wrote in their joint FCC letter: "Earlier in June 2019, the latency of full disk and other images were regularly as high as three to seven minutes, far too significant for timely weather bulletins."