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Verizon and AT&T delayed the roll-out of new 5G spectrums due to safety concerns

By Roland Udvarlaki November 5, 2021, 9:00 am
AT&T logo on the left, 5G with a cell tower in background, and Verizon logo on the right

According to a new report, AT&T and Verizon have delayed the roll-out of new 5G spectrums due to FAA safety concerns that affect aircraft safety systems and other interference. The delay comes amid concerns from the FAA that it has a “potential interference with key cockpit safety system”.

According to the Wall Street Journal (via 9to5Mac), the delay will allow the two carriers to work together with the FAA to get to the bottom of the issue and come up with a resolution that ensures the new 5G spectrum doesn’t interfere with any existing technology and cause danger to human lives.

The report also states that had Verizon and AT&T not agreed to stop and delay the roll-out of the new 5G bands, the FAA would have been forced to issue mandates to pilots that would have limited the use “of certain automated cockpit systems.” This, of course, would have resulted in “disruption to passenger and cargo flights in 46 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas where the towers are located.” Fortunately, both carriers decided to cooperate and ensure that the issue was solved safely without risking lives and causing disruptions.

“The FAA had been planning to issue official mandates as soon as this week that would limit pilots’ use of certain automated cockpit systems such as those that help planes land in poor weather, according to government and industry officials familiar with the planned orders. Those limits would aim to avoid potential interference from wireless towers on the ground transmitting new 5G signals.

Such limits could result in disruptions to passenger and cargo flights in 46 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas where the towers are located as soon as early December, aviation industry officials have said. Telecom industry officials have pushed back against safety concerns, saying available evidence doesn’t support the conclusion that 5G networks will interfere with flight equipment.”

As it stands, it’s currently unclear when the new 5G bands will be rolled out publicly by either carrier, as the investigation needs to find out what causes the issues and needs to find a solution to minimize risk or remove it altogether.

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