US officials ask AT&T, Verizon to delay 5G wireless


US Secretary of Transportation  Pete Buttigieg and the head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) called on  AT&T and Verizon Communications on Friday to postpone the planned  introduction of the new 5G radio service for January 5th due to aviation safety concerns and FAA Administrator Steve Dickson asked AT&T CEO John Stankey and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg for a delay of no more than two weeks as part of a “short-term proposal.

 The aviation industry and the FAA have  concerns about possible 5G interference  with sensitive aircraft electronics such as radio altimeters that could interfere with flights.

“We are asking your companies  to suspend the introduction of the commercial CBand service for an additional short period of no more than two weeks after the currently planned implementation date on January 5th,” the letter said. 

Verizon spokesman Rich Young said he received the letter and needs time to review it. ATandT did not  comment immediately, but early Friday the two companies accused the aerospace industry of trying to hold up the adoption of the CB spectrum and “being hostage until the wireless industry agrees to pay the cost of upgrading  obsolete altimeters .

Buttigieg and Dickson said that under the framework, “commercial C-band services would begin as planned in January with certain exceptions around priority airports. The FAA and the aviation industry would identify priority airports “where a buffer zone would safely continue flight operations  while the FAA is complete.

” Your assessment of the potential for interference. The government will work to find “measures for all priority airports” so that most “large commercial aircraft can operate safely in all conditions”. This would allow operations around “priority airports on an ongoing basis” with the aim of guaranteeing activation before March 31st to rule out any unforeseen problems. .

On Thursday, the trading group Airlines for America called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to stop the introduction of a new 5G radio service at many airports, warning that thousands of flights could be interrupted: 

“The potential damage to airlines alone the airlines is great. The CTIA group  said 5G is safe and that the spectrum is being used in around 40 other countries. 

House Transport Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio endorsed the airline group’s motion on Friday, warning that “we cannot afford to experiment with aviation security.

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