Officials from both AT&T and the airline industry have confirmed that the major telcos from the US – AT&T and Verizon have come to the terms to postpone the deployment of 5G wireless services due to the lurking fears of 5G services causing hindrance to flight safety equipment. AT&T released a statement confirming the deal in which it said that at the request of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg the company has voluntarily agreed to a two weeks delay on the deployment of its C-Band 5G services.
The Current Scenario
According to a report from AFP, the move from the telcos to delay the deployment comes after a day they rejected the request to delay the rollout of 5G technology scheduled for Wednesday and even warned the airlines of legal action. A representative from the airline industry informed that a draft agreement was reached at the eleventh hour firstly with AT&T followed by Verizon to postpone the deployment of their 5G wireless services by 15 days. The need for delay comes in as the airline operators have informed that the new technology might hinder the devices used in flights to measure altitude. The rollout of the services has already been postponed once before.
An official from the airline industry also informed that nothing has been signed as of now, however, the industry is going to hold off the suspension for these two weeks as there are people who are working restlessly to come to an agreement. He further informed that during these two weeks of postponement, the air safety regulator FAA will have to review the changes that have been made in the airports in order to affirm that the mitigation factors in the deployment in those airports to be safe for flying.
Previously, the 3.7 GHz – 3.8 GHz frequency bands were acquired by AT&T and Verizon after bidding tens of billions of dollars in the month of February. On postponing the deployment of 5G services AT&T also said in a statement that the company acknowledges the fact that aviation safety and 5G can coexist and it is confident that the issues can be resolved with further collaboration and technical assessments. FAA had also issued guidelines earlier to limit the use of devices in flights which can be hindered by the 5G wireless technology in select circumstances.