Two US cell service providers said that they won’t expand 5G networks due to safety concerns by federal regulators and airlines.
AT&T and Verizon, two of America’s largest telecom firms, have agreed to a temporary delay for their C-band 5G networks as talks continue with government officials and airlines, who say the tech could affect aircraft instruments.
In separate statements Mondays, both companies stated that the pause was confirmed by Verizon, who said it had committed to a delay of two weeks. “which promises the certainty of bringing this nation our game-changing 5G network in January.”
AT&T, meanwhile, said it accepted the same two-week pause at the request of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, adding “We know aviation safety and 5G can co-exist and we are confident further collaboration and technical assessment will allay any issues.”
The decision comes in stark contrast to statements issued by AT&T and Verizon less than 24 hours prior, in which the firms insisted they would stick to a previously set rollout date of January 5. The firms argued that any delay would be considered to “an irresponsible abdication of the operating control required to deploy world-class and globally competitive communications networks.”
Though the C-band 5G deployment was initially planned for December, the telecoms agreed to wait until January due to fears the technology would disrupt onboard devices, with Monday’s agreement pushing out that date for another two weeks. Although it is not clear what caused the sudden reversal of plans, the telecoms are said to be in active discussions with regulators.
Safety concerns include issues with the aircraft radio altimeters. They help planes land safely in low-visibility situations. If 5G signals are received, the Federal Aviation Administration has identified 17 additional systems that may be affected.
FAA thanked these two firms for being a part of the award ceremony. “voluntary”The Verge obtained a statement and added a pause. “Safety is the core of our mission and this guides all of our decisions”While expressing hopes for more time, “reduce flight disruptions associated with this 5G deployment.”
The 5G plan has been opposed by the federal agencies as well as the airlines industry and the aviation companies. Airlines for America is a lobbying group that predicted it would affect 350,000 flights, and millions of travelers.
FAA fears 5G could affect ‘wide range’ of aircraft systems
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