Verizon and AT&T agreed to delay their C-band 5G wireless network rollouts two additional weeks after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) raised concerns over potential safety and signal interference issues.
Originally slated to deploy January 5, 2022, the initial C-band launch has been pushed back until January 19, 2022, thanks to last-minute efforts made by the Department of Transportation. The U.S. government, federal aviation officials, and airline industry stakeholders have released warnings that the 5G in C-band spectrum could interfere with thousands of flights every day all around the U.S. The new rollout could also have a negative impact on aircraft radio altimeters, which are used to assist when landing airplanes in low-visibility conditions.
Both AT&T and Verizon agreed to strategically operate their networks to try and reduce the probability of aircraft radar altimeter issues near airports and adhere to other mitigations proposed by the FAA.
“At Secretary Buttigieg’s request, we have voluntarily agreed to one additional two-week delay of our deployment of C-Band 5G services,” AT&T stated. “We also remain committed to the six-month protection zone mitigations we outlined in our letter. We know aviation safety and 5G can co-exist and we are confident further collaboration and technical assessment will allay any issues.”
“We’ve agreed to a two-week delay which promises the certainty of bringing this nation our game-changing 5G network in January, delivered over America’s best and most reliable wireless network,” Verizon stated.
For more information about the new deal established between the aviation industry, Verizon, and AT&T, click here to read the statement published by the FAA documenting some of the terms.