AT&T, Verizon agree to new precautions to address 5G air safety concerns

AT&T, Verizon agree to new precautions to address 5G air safety concerns
AT&T, Verizon agree to new precautions to address 5G air safety concerns   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  
By Reuters

<div> <p>By David Shepardson</p> <p><span class="caps">WASHINGTON</span> -AT&T and Verizon Communications on Wednesday agreed to adopt new precautionary measures to address air safety concerns raised from the planned use of C-Band spectrum for 5G wireless.</p> <p>The Federal Aviation Administration (<span class="caps">FAA</span>) and the aviation industry have raised concerns about potential interference caused by the 5G deployment with sensitive aircraft electronics like radio altimeters.</p> <p>AT&T and Verizon said they had committed for six months to take “additional steps to minimize energy coming from 5G base stations – both nationwide and to an even greater degree around public airports and heliports,” and said that should address altimeter concerns.</p> <p>Earlier this month, AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay commercial launch of C-band wireless service until Jan. 5 after the <span class="caps">FAA</span> issued a Nov. 2 bulletin warning that action may be needed to address the potential interference caused by the 5G deployment.</p> <p>The <span class="caps">FAA</span> said Wednesday it would review the telecoms proposal, calling it “an important and encouraging step… The <span class="caps">FAA</span> believes that aviation and 5G C-band wireless service can safely co-exist.”</p> <p>The <span class="caps">FCC</span> said “these technical mitigations represent one of the most comprehensive efforts in the world to safeguard aviation technologies.”</p> <p>The <span class="caps">FAA</span> may issue an emergency directive to airlines by early December, and two House Democrats warned it could include “draconian but necessary restrictions on many types of critical flight operations.”</p> <p>AT&T said it was adopting the measures “while additional evidence from radio altimeter manufacturers is evaluated. Though there is no credible evidence that a legitimate interference problem exists, we agreed to take these additional steps to alleviate any safety concerns from the <span class="caps">FAA</span>.”</p> <p>Wireless groups argue that there have been no C-Band aviation safety issues in other countries using the spectrum.</p> <p>AT&T and Verizon said the commitments will expire on July 6 “unless credible evidence exists that real world interference would occur if the mitigations were relaxed.”</p> </div>