Use of 5G Near US Airports is Postponed

Telecom operators Verizon and AT&T agree to a request to delay the rollout of new 5G telecom services near airports in the United States by two weeks.


The trade association of American airlines had submitted an emergency request to the Federal Communications Commission for this. According to the airlines, 5G can disrupt flights. The White House also called for a delay.

“We have agreed to a two-week delay, promising with certainty that we can bring our groundbreaking 5G network to this country in January,” Verizon said after hours of consultations with the FCC, among others. AT&T said it would agree to a US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg request.

The FCC had authorized the telecom providers to start offering 5G services in the US from Wednesday. However, according to Airlines for America, the new wireless signals threaten to disrupt aircraft and helicopter altitude-tracking equipment, which represents the top ten US airlines. This would make landings in poor visibility impossible and could cause delays, diversions and cancellations. Airlines for America fears that the problems surrounding 5G will lead to a cost of $2.1 billion in-flight disruptions.

Verizon and AT&T claim that the 5G signals are sufficiently separated from the frequencies used by altimeters. In addition, industry organization CTIA, to which the telecom providers are affiliated, states that 5G works safely in almost forty countries and does not cause harmful interference to aviation activities in these countries.

The original 5G launch was scheduled for December 5 but postponed to tomorrow/Wednesday. During the two additional weeks of delay, the aviation regulator FAA will examine the modifications made to the equipment “to ensure they meet all safety requirements for the flights.”

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