This is coming after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) initiated a probe on whether the C-band spectrum for 5G rollout jeopardizes aircrafts’ safety.
The two telcos had aligned to launch significant improvements to their auctioned C-band spectrum based 5G networks, with the upgrades helping to deliver 5G connections and faster speeds in comparison to the base-level 5G rollout offers that both operators currently deliver.
“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,” both telcos said in a joint letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Both service providers had earlier this month agreed to shift the deployment of their C-band spectrum till the tail end of January next year after the U.S. regulatory body expressed reservations on the potential wireless technology has in interfering with altimeter equipment, in the process endangering the safety systems of some aircrafts.
An altimeter, an instrument that helps measure the altitude of an object above a certain fixed level, mostly above the sea level is a fundamental tool for spacecraft pilots as it monitors the height of the aircraft above the Earth’s surface, most especially when the weather affects visibility.
The two companies, AT& T and Verizon, after many years of their research on probable interference rate had posited that mid-band 5G networks has no inclination to cause damage for flights in other countries having the mid-band 5G. But in spite of submitting the research paper to advance their argument, the two companies submitted to the FAA’s demands to “allay concerns about radio altimeter performance,” while sustaining fight performance for their users.
The Communications Commission has already notified pilots of the potential risks of “interference from 5G transmitters and other technology could cause certain safety equipment to malfunction, requiring them to take mitigating action that could affect flight operations.”
But it is not certain the FAA will take into cognizance the proposals of the telco companies but the Commission has accepted the carrier’s offer, with the extended limit applicable till July 6th, after initially planning to roll out their C-band spectrum on December 5th.
Both companies will after the July 6th deadline aim to recommence normal operations only if the FAA failed to inclusively prove that their C-band spectrum would interfere with the aircraft safety systems.
“Our use of this spectrum will dramatically expand the reach and capabilities of the nation’s next-generation 5G networks, advancing U.S. leadership, and bringing enormous benefits to consumers and the U.S. economy,” the telcos informed FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel in their letter.
With Verizon and AT&T spending an estimated $68.8 billion in obtaining the required licenses for their mid-level band construction, with an extra $15 billion on infrastructure that would make use of the C-band spectrum, the two companies will be wary of additional setbacks to their spectrum deployment .