Saturday, November 26

AT&T and Verizon Postpone Launch of New 5G Spectrum After FAA Security Warning

Verizon and AT&T postponed their 5G C-band expansion following the FAA’s warning of possible interference with aircraft equipment.

AT&T and Verizon have postponed their 5G Rollout of C-band expansion following the recent FAA warning that use of the new spectrum on flights could result in interference with aircraft safety systems. C-band spectrum is expected to help the two operators expand their respective 5G networks, as they both rely heavily on low-band spectrum. Both companies were supposed to start implementing the new spectrum from December 5, but that date will now be delayed.

The decision by the top two carriers follows the FAA’s recent expression of concerns about the use of the new 5G spectrum in regards to cabin security systems. According to the agency, the new spectrum could interfere with aviation security systems, especially during takeoff and landing in bad weather. The agency also said it is working with the FCC and the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) on any future course of action.

Verizon and AT&T are delaying the launch of the 5G C-band to address the FAA’s security concerns, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report explains that AT&T has already issued a statement confirming that it will postpone the planned launch until January 5. While Verizon has yet to officially say anything, the report cites insiders who claim it agreed to postpone its planned launch by “Around a month.”

The FAA will issue a notice to airlines soon

The FAA reportedly plans to soon issue advisories to the aviation industry regarding security protocols that would help minimize the risk of interference. According to the WSJ, the agency is busy preparing “A special bulletin and attached mandates” that would designate certain features of the autopilot, including those that help planes land in bad weather, as ‘at risk’ technology that could potentially be impacted by the new 5G spectrum rollout. However, none of the mandates or directives are expected to be aimed at consumers, which means that travelers are unlikely to be banned from using 5G mobile phones on airplanes.

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Although travelers are not expected to be directly affected by the FAA advisory, it is likely to have a knock-on effect on flight schedules, especially in adverse weather conditions. According to the report, the expected advisory from the FAA, which could come as early as this week, could disrupt passenger and cargo flights in at least 46 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. It’s worth noting that the telecommunications industry has so far denied that the 5G spectrum in question has any negative impact on aviation safety or interferes with flight equipment in any way.

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