Verizon and AT&T to Delay 5G C-Band Upgrades for Two More Weeks


In a stalemate between Verizon, AT&T and the FCC, the FAA and the airline industry over the two carriers’ plans to increase their 5G wireless service using the new C-band spectrum, the companies mobile phones now say they have reached an agreement with the Ministry of Transport and will delay their deployment.


We’ve agreed to a two-week deadline that promises the certainty of bringing our revolutionary 5G network to this nation in January, delivered over America’s best and most trusted network.


At the request of Secretary Buttigieg, we have voluntarily agreed to an additional two weeks for the deployment of our C-Band 5G services. We also remain committed to the mitigation measures for the six-month protection zone that we described in our letter. We know that aviation safety and 5G can coexist and we are confident that continued collaboration and technical assessment will solve any problems.

In statements sent by email to The edge On Monday evening, the carriers appeared to withdraw from the language included in a letter sent by their respective CEOs to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and FAA Administrator Steve Dickson over the weekend that initially rejected the request.

In that letter, they said they would not give in to the FAA and DOT’s demand to delay their (already 30-day-delayed) C-band spectrum upgrades for another two weeks, citing others. mitigation measures such as creating a buffer zone around airports and lowering power levels across the country.

In their letter, AT&T CEO John Stankey and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said, “Accepting your proposal would not only be an unprecedented and unwarranted bypassing due process and carefully crafted checks and balances in the structure of our democracy, but an irresponsible abdication of the operational control required to deploy world-class and globally competitive communications networks that are equally essential to the economic vitality, public safety and national interests of our country as the airline industry

The controversy exists because of “concerns that the 5G signal could interfere with the accuracy of an aircraft’s radio altimeter, without other mitigation measures in place,” according to the FAA. These altimeters are crucial for automated landings, and the FAA says deploying the changes could disrupt air travel or impact safety.

Earlier this year, an FCC auction sold the two operators the rights to use the so-called “C-band” frequencies at a price of nearly $ 70 billion. Verizon and AT&T are eager to roll it out so that in addition to offering super-fast 5G connectivity in specific areas using high-band millimeter wave technology and much slower 5G on low-band frequencies, the new spectrum will provide intermediate performance. over much larger areas. T-Mobile currently uses a mid-band spectrum that is not in the C-band.

Neither company has detailed the agreement reached with the Ministry of Transport. The edge contacted the DOT and FAA, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

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