AT&T, Verizon Wireless to Delay Rolling Out New 5G C-Band Service Near Airports

By Kurt Stolz on 18 January 2022
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Boston Logan International Airport

Mobile operators AT&T and Verizon Wireless said they will turn on 5G C-Band service nationwide on Wednesday, except near airports and runways.

The move came on the heels of a letter signed by CEOs of major U.S. airlines that said that the start of the service could cause “catastrophic disruption” to U.S. air traffic.  The letter also expressed concern that the “nation’s commerce will grind to a halt.”

President Joseph Biden later echoed these worries.

The two mobile operators are rolling out 5G C-Band service, on which the two spent a combined $70 billion to secure a portion of the C-Band spectrum.  The use of C-Band should improve 5G coverage in many areas.

The move comes after airlines and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration voiced concerns that the C-Band 5G signals could potentially interfere with radar altimeters, instruments that tell pilots how far above the terrain the aircraft is flying. This helps pilots navigate and land planes particularly during inclement weather and other low visibility situations.

Both AT&T and Verizon said that they would not activate the C-Band frequencies within two miles (3.21 kilometers) of runways specified by the FAA.

Despite the news, several foreign airlines cancelled flights to the United States, while Delta Air Lines said it was prepared for possible delays and cancellations in the event that bad weather triggered certain flight restrictions that are still in place for the 5G rollout.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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