Verizon and AT&T to limit 5G while studying impact on air traffic

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New York (AFP) – Verizon and AT&T on Wednesday proposed to limit the deployment for six months of new frequency bands for their 5G network in the United States, time for the United States Aviation Agency (FAA) to study potential interference problems. with devices measuring altitude in airplanes.

Faced with the concerns of the FAA, the two telephone operators agreed in early November to postpone the launch of these new frequency bands until January.

In a joint letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which oversees the deployment of 5G in the country, they explained on Wednesday that they wanted to proceed with the deployment in January but take precautionary measures until July 2022 in addition to those already required by law, while the FAA performs its analyzes.

AT&T and Verizon, for example, propose to minimize the energy coming from 5G stations, in particular around airports and heliports.

“This is an important and encouraging step, and we are committed to continuing a constructive dialogue with all stakeholders,” reacted the FAA in a message sent to AFP, believing that 5G could very well “co-exist” with air traffic “in complete safety”.

Verizon and AT&T were initially scheduled to begin using the 3.7-3.8 GHz frequency bands on December 5, which were allocated to them in February after a bid for tens of billions of dollars.

But the FAA recently issued a special bulletin, requesting additional information on instruments that measure an aircraft’s distance from the ground and operate on frequency bands between 4.2 and 4.4 GHz.

The FAA questions the possible interference between the frequency bands used for 5G and for aviation.

“While there is no credible evidence of the existence of an interference problem, we have agreed to take these additional steps to address any FAA safety concerns,” AT&T noted in a message to AFP.

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