Verizon and AT&T reject US request to delay new 5G services

Airbus and Boeing raise concerns about interference with the devices planes use to measure altitude

Verizon and AT&T rejected a request by the U.S. government to delay the Jan. 5 introduction of the C-Band spectrum for 5G wireless service over aviation safety concerns, however, offered to temporarily adopt new safeguards. usa 5g services

A joint letter Sunday from the telecommunications giants to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Steve Dickson, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, sought to dismiss concerns brought by U.S. airlines that a new 5G wireless service could harm aviation.

But Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon Communications, and John Stankey, CEO of AT&T, also wrote that they were willing to accept some temporary measures over the next six months to limit the service around certain airport runways.

Airlines had asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to delay this week’s scheduled 5G rollout, saying the service, set to launch Wednesday, could interfere with electronics that pilots rely on.

Airlines for America, a trade group for large U.S. passenger and cargo carriers, said in an emergency filing that the FCC has failed to adequately consider the harm that 5G service could do to the industry. The group wants more time for the FCC and the FAA, which regulates airlines, to resolve issues around aviation safety. Those are related to a type of 5G service that relies on chunks of radio spectrum called C-Band, which wireless carriers spent billions of dollars to buy up last year.

The airline group has said it may go to court Monday if the FCC does not act. The group urged the FCC and the telecom industry to work with the FAA and the aviation industry to “enable the rollout of 5G technology while prioritizing safety and avoiding any disruption to the aviation system.” usa 5g services

An FCC spokesperson said Sunday the agency is “optimistic that by working together we can both advance the wireless economy and ensure aviation safety.”

Siding in part with airlines, Buttigieg and Dickson wrote late Friday to the CEOs of AT&T and Verizon to propose a delay in activating 5G C-band service near an undetermined number of “priority airports” while the FAA studies the potential for interference with aircraft operations.

AT&T and Verizon previously agreed to a one-month delay in 5G, which provides faster speeds when mobile devices connect to their networks and allows users to connect many devices to the internet without slowing it down. But the telecommunications executives said Sunday that further delays requested by the government would harm their customers.

“Agreeing to your proposal would not only be an unprecedented and unwarranted circumvention of the due process and checks and balances carefully crafted in the structure of our democracy, but an irresponsible abdication of the operating control required to deploy world-class and globally competitive communications networks that are every bit as essential to our country’s economic vitality, public safety and national interests as the airline industry,” the executives wrote. usa 5g services

Wireless industry group CTIA said 5G is safe and the spectrum is being used in about 40 other countries.


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