Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) voiced out its concerns over 5G’s effect on aircraft safety systems. In response to that, Verizon and AT&T agreed to delay their mid-band 5G spectrum rollout for at least a month. And as the investigation continues, the two carriers have come up with a temporary solution that serves as a big help for the FAA.
To address the risk on aircraft safety systems with its mid-band 5G spectrum rollout, Verizon and AT&T have offered to recall the power from their 5G cell towers. The two carriers plan to do this for six months, so they can pacify the concerns of the aviation industry.
Originally, the plan was to push back the mid-band 5G spectrum rollout to January 2022. But now, Verizon and AT&T have sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they intend to move forward with the planned launch.
In its letter, the two companies said: “This spectrum will be the backbone of our 5G networks for many years to come.”
The two also pointed out the years of research made on mid-band 5G and its potential interference. They mentioned that the spectrum has not caused any havoc for flights in other countries that already use the spectrum.
“While we remain confident that 5G poses no risk to air safety, we are also sensitive to the Federal Aviation Administration’s desire for additional analysis of this issue.”
As a result of this, the two carriers will voluntarily be taking extra precautions “to minimize energy coming from 5G base stations --- both nationwide and to an even greater degree around public airports and heliports” until July 2022. The companies believe that this will be sufficient to “allay concerns about radio altimeter performance” and at the same time, maintain a strong performance for its own customers.
Right now, it’s unclear whether the FAA will accept this proposal. If it does, the two networks will continue operating the spectrum normally after July 6, 2022 “unless credible evidence exists that real-world interference would occur if the mitigations were relaxed.”
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