US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttedjage and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Governor Steve Dixon have asked AT&T and Verizon to postpone their planned 5G mobile high-speed rollout on January 5 due to possible risks to aviation.
In a December 31 letter sent to two of the largest telecom operators in the United States, Buttejage and Dixon asked for a delay in deployment "for an additional short period of no more than two weeks."
The 5G network was originally slated to launch on December 5, but AT&T and Verizon agreed to postpone it until January 5 after aircraft giants Airbus and Boeing raised concerns about potential interference to aircraft. 5G networks in the United States operate at frequencies close to those used by aircraft, dpa recalls.
Fears around 5G
In February 2021, AT&T and Verizon received permission to use C-band frequencies (3.4-3.8 GHz) for 5G services, paying tens of billions of dollars for this. The companies have pushed back the rollout of their new frequency bands to give the FAA time to study the potential impact of 5G on sensitive aircraft electronics, including radio altimeters.
If the launch of 5G networks is indeed causing technical problems, then it could have a major impact on air travel, as explained by Buttejage and Dixon, the need for another delay.