AT&T and Verizon Delay 5G Expansion to Address Aircraft Interference Concerns

AT&T and Verizon are delaying the rollout of a new 5G band in order to address concerns about interference with aircraft safety systems, reports The Wall Street Journal.

iphone 5g mmwave
The two companies were set to launch C-Band spectrum on December 5. The C-band covers radio frequencies between 3.7GHz and 4.2GHz, and it is key for the expansion of 5G networks. AT&T and Verizon are now working with the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure there will be no interference, delaying the 5G deployment until January 5.

On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a warning [PDF] about potential 5G interference with radar altimeters, technology used measure a plane's distance from the ground. In the document, the FAA confirms that there have not been "proven reports" about equipment interference in countries where the spectrum is already available, but the agency still has concerns.

The FAA is asking radio altimeter manufacturers to submit equipment details on devices that are used in airplanes, and it has suggested that companies who produce radio altimeters do detailed testing to determine if the hardware is susceptible to interference from C-band spectrum. Aircraft manufacturers have been asked to submit data on the radio altimeters that are in use and to do their own interference testing.

The CTIA, a trade group representing the wireless industry, has said that C-band spectrum can be safely used without causing interference to aviation equipment, but aviation groups have said that the 5G expansion could result in "major disruptions to passenger air travel, commercial transport, and critical helicopter operations."

AT&T spokesperson Margeret Boles said in a statement that AT&T plans to work with the FCC and FAA to understand the interference concerns. "It is critical that these discussions be informed by the science and the data," she said. "That is the only path to enabling experts and engineers to assess whether any legitimate coexistence issues exist."

Tags: AT&T, Verizon

Top Rated Comments

canyonblue737 Avatar
12 weeks ago
Ok, just so people understand what this practically means... (I am an airline pilot)

1) the concern is with specific new 5G bands and won't shutoff 5G all around the nation.

2) the issue is in regards to radio altimeters that bounce a signal directly off the terrain below to measure that distance when the airplane is usually less than 1500 ft above the ground (think of a boat depth finder, but for planes.) we use this distance to more accurately guage height above terrain when low to the ground than conventional altimeters and use the data for a host of other systems including determining minimum approach heights, inappropriate descent rate warnings, windshear alerts and more.

3) this issue ONLY applies to 5G when it is near an airport and near a final approach path... perhaps a couple miles at most from the airport. it won't affect the rollout of 5G that isn't near airports as radio altimeters are only in use when close to an airport. it is true that providers like verizon seem to be prioritizing putting 5G and 5G ultra wideband near airports (to certainly seems the most common place i find it) so there is that, but it doesn't mean they can't put it elsewhere in the meantime.

4) it's likely there will turn out to be no issue and no interference, but let them check. if there is there might be ways to mitigate it but that would delay the rollout of the tech near airports.

for example is a proposed temporary 5G restriction zone around an airport in Canada... it isn't like this is a massive area we are talking about, and hopefully temporary.



Attachment Image
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPSaltzman Avatar
12 weeks ago
AT&T: "But in the meantime, you won't mind the 5G surcharge on your monthly bill, will you?"
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LawJolla Avatar
12 weeks ago
As a pilot, the "phones off" was always silly. (I heard it was really the phone companies pressuring the FAA because the phones quickly switching towers wrecked havoc on their infrastructure)

But the radio altimeter could be a thing. Radio altimeters are crucial for low visibility / "auto land" functionality, and we need to be 100% sure that a 5G tower + phones on final approach doesn't change the altimeter's readings.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
freyjaNeggy Avatar
12 weeks ago
anyone old enough to remember when you had an incoming cellphone call your speakers would go BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
12 weeks ago
Safety comes first! That's Priority #1
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
liberte1776 Avatar
12 weeks ago
Game point to T-Mobile which apparently does not need to worry about this band?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iphone 5g mmwave

AT&T and Verizon Now Rolling Out C-Band 5G Spectrum

Wednesday January 19, 2022 12:11 pm PST by
Following weeks of delays due to concerns from the aviation industry, Verizon and AT&T were today able to begin deploying C-Band 5G spectrum to improve the availability of 5G connectivity for users across the United States. AT&T's C-Band spectrum is live in limited parts of eight metro areas that include Austin, Chicago, Dallas Ft. Worth, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Orlando, and South...
iphone 5g mmwave

U.S. Airlines Warn of 'Catastrophic' Crisis With Impending 5G Rollout, AT&T and Verizon Agree to Delay Around Airports

Tuesday January 18, 2022 10:35 am PST by
Verizon and AT&T's upcoming rollout of new C-Band 5G technology could cause chaos and lead to widespread delays of passenger and cargo flights, major U.S. airlines said on Monday in a letter sent to the White House National Economic Council, the FAA, and the FCC (via Reuters). "Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially...
5g verizon

Verizon Announces Plans to Expand 5G Ultra Wideband to 1,700 Cities in January, Offers Improved 5G Plans

Tuesday January 4, 2022 5:13 pm PST by
Verizon today announced plans to expand its 5G Ultra Wideband technology to more than 100 million people across 1,700 cities in the United States, offering 5G speeds that are up to 10x faster than 4G LTE speeds and that can hit up to one gigabit per second. According to Verizon, "nearly one in three Americans" will be living in areas where faster 5G speeds are available, but while the...
iphone 3g

UK to Shut Down 2G and 3G Networks by 2033

Wednesday December 8, 2021 6:57 am PST by
The United Kingdom will phase out and turn off its 2G and 3G networks by 2033, the British government today announced (via TechRadar). BT already committed to ending its 3G service by 2023, but now all major carriers in the UK are in agreement to retire 2G and 3G over the next decade. The networks are due to be switched off as part of plans to accelerate the roll out of 5G across the...
tmobilelogo

T-Mobile's 'Ultra Capacity' 5G Now Covers 200 Million People

Monday November 15, 2021 3:33 pm PST by
T-Mobile today announced that its high-speed "Ultra Capacity 5G" is now available to 200 million people across the United States, with the carrier hitting the milestone weeks ahead of schedule. Ultra Capacity 5G is T-Mobile's higher-speed 5G network that's faster than the Extended Range 5G network that covers 308 million T-Mobile customers. While Extended Range 5G offers LTE-like speeds,...
pcmag fastest mobile networks 2021 test

T-Mobile Wins Title of Fastest U.S. Carrier in 2021 5G Test

Tuesday August 24, 2021 9:56 am PDT by
With its mid-band 5G network that's widely available, T-Mobile has earned the title of fastest U.S. mobile network in 2021, according to testing conducted by PCMag. Each year, PCMag sends drivers to traverse thousands of miles of the United States. This year, drivers traveled over 10,000 miles and surveyed network speeds in 30 major metro areas and six rural regions to find the fastest...
the new imac g4 feature

iMac G4 With Revolutionary Floating Display Announced 20 Years Ago Today

Friday January 7, 2022 8:55 am PST by
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Apple announcing the iMac G4. Unveiled on January 7, 2002, the iMac G4 featured a unique design with a flat-screen panel mounted on an adjustable arm and a hemisphere base housing the computer's internal components. Nicknamed the Lamp or Sunflower, the iMac G4 was innovative for its time as an all-in-one computer with a flat screen that can be moved around ...
ATT new 2016 logo featured

AT&T Planning Expansion of 5G mmWave to Additional U.S. Airports By the End of 2021

Thursday July 15, 2021 12:58 am PDT by
AT&T is planning to bring its 5G mmWave technology to additional airports in the United States by the end of 2021, offering customers access to its "AT&T 5G+" service with faster speeds and lower latency. In a press release, AT&T says that by the end of 2021, it will have expanded its 5G mmWave technology, which requires more advanced infrastructure compared to typical sub-6GHz 5G, to an...

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
iphone 13 earpods

Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week

Friday January 21, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the ...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new iPhones (5G iPhone SE, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end MacBook Pro,...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...
safari icon blue banner

macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 Release Candidates Fix Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Thursday January 20, 2022 1:30 pm PST by
The macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates that came out today appear to address a Safari bug that could cause your recent browsing history and details about your identity to be leaked to malicious entities. As shared last week by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS, there is an issue with the WebKit implementation of the IndexedDB JavaScript API. Any website that uses...
apple college discounts

Apple Walks Back UNiDAYS Verification Requirement for U.S. Education Store

Friday January 21, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Earlier this week, Apple began requiring that customers taking advantage of educational discounts in the United States verify their status as a teacher, student, or school staff member through UNiDAYS. The requirement was a major change as Apple had never asked customers to go through a verification process in the United States before, and now, just three days after verification was added,...