Sunday, January 23, 2022

AT&T and Verizon may have to delay 5G deployments another two weeks over airline safety fears

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US officers have requested AT&T and Verizon to additional delay new 5G deployments in order that the Federal Aviation Administration can have extra time to decide the place they may intervene with airways. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Steve Dickson despatched a letter to the CEOs of the two telecoms on Friday requesting a delay of “no more than two weeks,” in accordance to Reuters.

AT&T and Verizon had already delayed these deployments by a month over regulators’ issues and deliberate to begin the rollout on January fifth consequently. The two telecoms now inform Insider they’re reviewing the newest request for an extra delay. Buttigieg and Dickson write that, even with an extra delay, they anticipate 5G deployment will nonetheless start in January “with certain exceptions around priority airports.”

The two telecoms are keen to begin deploying the brand new 5G spectrum that they purchased in early 2021, which makes use of the so-called C-band frequencies. Those frequencies of spectrum permit radio waves to hit a candy spot between excessive speeds and lengthy distances, permitting for higher-speed 5G deployments than conventional LTE spectrum can obtain, with out the stifling distance limitations that include millimeter wave 5G. Getting these deployments out is a vital step for AT&T and Verizon to make 5G a worthwhile improve and keep aggressive with T-Mobile, which has already began deploying its personal related spectrum.

Officials have been involved that C-band frequencies may intervene with altimeters and stop the usage of guided touchdown programs meant for instances of low-visibility, threatening the safety of plane. On December seventh, the FAA went as far as to inform pilots they wouldn’t have the ability to use these guided and automated touchdown programs at airports the place there’s deemed to be interference, which may theoretically lead to many flight delays.

Buttigieg and Dickson need to determine “priority airports” and mitigation methods so that the majority giant industrial plane can “operate safely in all conditions.” Some proposals revolve round putting 5G “buffer zones” round airports, according to The Wall Street Journal.

AT&T and Verizon are fairly sad in regards to the delays. On Friday, the businesses accused the aerospace business of holding deployment “hostage” until they lined the price of altimeter upgrades. Verizon additionally went in on the airline business, telling Insider, “This industry which got a $54 billion taxpayer-funded, government bail out over the past couple years clearly has much bigger issues to worry about.”

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