US officials ask AT&T, Verizon to delay 5G wireless near some airports

US officials ask AT&T, Verizon to delay 5G wireless near some airports

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Friday asked AT&T and Verizon Communications to delay the planned January 5 launch of new 5G wireless service over aviation safety concerns.

In a letter seen by Reuters on Friday, Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Steve Dixon asked AT&T chief executive John Stankey and Verizon chief executive Hans Vestberg to “propose as a near-term solution to move forward”. As part of it asked for a delay of more than two weeks. 5G deployment and safe flight operations co-exist in the C-band.”

The aviation industry and the FAA have raised concerns about possible 5G interference with sensitive aircraft electronics such as radio altimeters that could disrupt flights.

“We require your companies to continue to suspend commercial C-band service for an additional short period of not more than two weeks from the currently scheduled deployment date of January 5,” the letter said.

Verizon and AT&T both said they have received the letter and are reviewing it. Earlier on Friday, the two companies accused the aerospace industry of seeking to hold C-band spectrum deployment hostage “until the wireless industry agrees to cover the cost of upgrading any obsolete altimeters.” planted.”

“Commercial C-band service will begin as planned in January, with a few exceptions around priority airports,” Buttigieg and Dixon said.

The FAA and the aviation industry will identify priority airports “where a buffer zone will allow aviation operations to continue safely while the FAA completes its assessment of interference potential.”

The government will work to identify “mitigations for all priority airports” so that most “large commercial aircraft can operate safely in all conditions.” This will allow deployment around “priority airports on a rolling basis” with the aim of ensuring activation by March 31, barring unforeseen issues.

The carriers that won spectrum in the $80 billion government auction had previously agreed to take six months of precautionary measures to limit interference.

On Thursday, trade group Airlines for America asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to halt the deployment of new 5G wireless service around several airports, warning that thousands of flights could be disrupted.

Sarah Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents 50,000 flight attendants across 17 airlines, called the Department of Transportation’s proposal “people traveling as guinea pigs (and the crew on their flights) without using 5G.” Said the right move to implement successfully. For two systems that need to coexist without questions of security.”

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

House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio backed the airline group’s plea on Friday, warning that “we cannot experiment with aviation safety.”

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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