WASHINGTON D.C. (AFP) According to AT&T and airline officials, the two largest US telecoms companies agreed on Monday to postpone the installation of 5G wireless service due to concerns that it could interfere with flight safety equipment.

“At the request of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, we have voluntarily agreed to a two-week delay in our rollout of C-Band 5G services,” AT&T said in a statement.

“We know that aeroplane safety and 5G can coexist, and we’re certain that more collaboration and technical evaluation will overcome any issues,” the company said.

The move comes a day after AT&T and Verizon refused to delay their 5G technology deployment, which was set to begin on Wednesday, causing airlines to threaten legal action.

According to airline industry representatives, a last-minute draught deal was made first with AT&T and subsequently with Verizon to delay the rollout of their new 5G frequency bands by fifteen days.

Aviation regulators are concerned that the new system will interfere with planes’ altitude-measuring devices, and the rollout, which was originally scheduled for December 5, has already been postponed.

“No one has signed anything yet,” an airline industry executive said, “but we will be holding in abeyance for the next two weeks while individuals work feverishly to reach an agreement.”

According to an airline spokesman, modifications to airport facilities will need to be assessed by the FAA during the two-week halt, which will “deem those mitigation measures in that deployment in those airports to be safe for flying.”

In February, AT&T and Verizon were awarded the 3.7-3.8 GHz frequency bands after a multibillion-dollar bidding war.

Due to concerns about potential interference problems with sensors that monitor altitude in flights, the FAA published new rules prohibiting the use of these devices in specified conditions.

Airlines in the United States have expressed their concern with the potential costs and encouraged authorities to find a quick solution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *