AT&T, Verizon propose temporary 5G limits to address FAA concerns

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AT&T and Verizon on Wednesday agreed to limit certain 5G services to six months as federal regulators investigate concerns about signal interference with flight sensors.

The changes, which will see a nationwide reduction in 5G signal transmission across the C-band spectrum, were described in a letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission, reports Wall Street Journal. Additional precautions include tighter restrictions on power outages near airports and helipads, modifications that should alleviate Federal Aviation Administration concerns.

“While we remain confident that 5G poses no risk to aviation safety, we are also sensitive to the Federal Aviation Administration’s desire for further analysis of this issue,” the letter to FCC Acting President Jessica Rosenworcel reads.

In response, an FCC spokesman said the proposed restrictions “represent one of the most comprehensive efforts in the world to protect aviation technologies,” adding that the agency will work with the FAA “so 5G networks are implemented both securely and quickly , “according to the report.

The wireless operators accepted the restrictions for a period of six months, “while additional evidence from radio altimeter manufacturers is being evaluated,” AT&T said in a statement, as reported by CNET.

Earlier in November, AT&T and Verizon agreed to postpone a planned 5G network rollout until January after FAA officials raised concerns about the C-band spectrum. Referring to the “potential negative effects” of the signals on radar altimeters and other aircraft instruments, the Agency planned to issue a mandate restricting the use of certain aviation systems.

The FAA’s allegations were disputed by trade bodies.

Together, US wireless operators spent more than $ 80 billion on the C-band spectrum, with AT&T and Verizon investing heavily in licenses for their respective 5G networks. T-Mobile also purchased C-band licenses, but its 5G network is more dependent on the 2.5GHz mid-band spectrum and is not expected to be adversely affected by the conflict.

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