However, AT&T and Verizon are no longer delaying their 5G expansion. Bloomberg notes that the executive directors of the two airlines have issued a joint letter rejecting a request from the FAA and the transport department to delay their C-band services after January 5 in order to resolve problems with interference in aircraft systems. The companies argued that the government’s plan would effectively oversee the FAA’s network extensions for “an indefinite number of months or years” and would not cover rivals like T-Mobile.
The move would be an “irresponsible abdication” of network control, executive directors said. They also believed that meeting the requirements would be to the “detriment” of customers.
Instead, AT&T and Verizon tried to reach a compromise. They have promised not to install 5G C-band towers near some airports for six months, but only until the aviation industry and regulators do more to stop C-band deployment. U.S. transport agencies requested a general delay of no more than two weeks on December 31, but called for a gradual deployment of services near “priority” airports by March to protect important runways.
It is unclear how the FAA and the Department of Transportation will respond. Rejection is not shocking, keep in mind. The C-band service promises to provide more long-lauded 5G speeds without short range and poor indoor millimeter wave technology. It could also add capacity to keep 5G networks running smoothly as more users upgrade their devices. However, officials and the aviation industry also have a lot to lose – they are worried that the 5G C-band could disrupt flights and put passengers in danger. You may not see both sides capitulate quickly.
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