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AT&T, Verizon delay 5G rollout to address FAA airplane safety concerns


AT&T and Verizon jobs announced a month-long delay in the commercial deployment of a new 5G frequency band to analyze any impact on aviation safety systems. 

 The Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission said in a joint statement they would “continue to coordinate closely to ensure that the United States keeps pace with the rest of the world in deploying next-generation communications technologies safely and without undue delay.” 

The carriers had planned to use the C-Band spectrum for the 5G service on December 5, but they have agreed to postpone it until early January. 

Both carriers agreed they would delay deployment at the Transportation Department’s request. AT&T said it would “continue to work in good faith with the FCC and the FAA to understand the FAA’s asserted co-existence concerns. It is critical that these discussions be informed by the science and the data.” 

According to authorities, the FAA and FCC are holding serious discussions over the matter, and the White House National Economic Council is also participating. 

The FAA on Tuesday issued a bulletin alerting manufacturers, operators and pilots that action may be needed to address potential interference with sensitive aircraft electronics caused by the 5G deployment. FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said Wednesday: “We will figure this out so that 5G and aviation safety can co-exist.” 

The FAA said operators “should be prepared for the possibility that interference from 5G transmitters and other technology could cause certain safety equipment to malfunction, requiring them to take mitigating action that could affect flight operations.” 

The bulletin said “there have not yet been proven reports of harmful interference due to wireless broadband operations internationally. "It recommended pilots remind passengers portable electronic devices equipped with 5G be should be turned off or placed in airplane mode during flight

For more than a year, the aviation industry has expressed concern over the plan to use C-Band airwaves. The wireless trade association CTIA said on Friday that 5G networks can use C-band spectrum safely "without causing severe interference to aviation equipment," citing "many active 5G networks in 40 countries." 

 Source: NewYork Post 

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