Mobile operators AT&T and Verizon Communications have agreed to postpone the launch of new 5g services in the US once again. Concerns that the 5g signals will disrupt air traffic are behind the postponement.
As recently as this weekend, Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg and his colleague at AT&T announced that the launch would take place on Wednesday, January 5 – already a month later than planned. This is despite the fact that airlines have flagged that they would go to court to stop the launch of the new ultra-fast mobile networks, as they believe that the 5g services could potentially disrupt electronics and threaten flight safety.
Specifically, airlines see a risk that autopilot systems and navigation equipment for landing in poor visibility may be disturbed by 5g traffic as those systems use nearby frequencies.
However, pressure from the Biden Government’s Minister of Transport Pete Buttigieg and the head of the FAA, Steve Dickson, seems to have made the two telecom giants give in.
The postponement the operators have now agreed on gives the aviation industry a two-week deadline to prepare its operations to avoid 5g traffic disrupting air traffic around airports in the USA.
“We look forward to using the additional time and space to reduce the disruption associated with this 5G launch,” the FAA said in a statement.