AT&T, Verizon agree to delay some 5G service until 2023

AT&T and Verizon have agreed to delay the deployment of some of their 5G services until July 2023, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Friday.

The delay in C-Band 5G usage will give air carriers more time to update their planes to guarantee there will be no interference.

The two carriers had previously agreed to delay switching on some wireless towers near airports until July 5 of this year.

“We believe we have identified a path that will continue to enable aviation and 5G C-band wireless to safely co-exist,” Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in a statement Friday. 

“We appreciate the willingness of Verizon and AT&T to continue this important and productive collaboration with the aviation industry,” he added.

Airlines have been raising alarm that the rollout of 5G wireless services could disrupt altimeters, the tools that planes use to determine their height above the ground.

AT&T said in a statement that it will “continue to work with the aviation community as we move toward the expiration of all such voluntary measures by next summer.”

“Though our [Federal Communications Commission] licenses allow us to fully deploy much-needed C-Band spectrum right now, we have chosen in good faith to implement these more tailored precautionary measures so that airlines have additional time to retrofit equipment,” the company added.

Verizon executive Craig Silliman said the agreement reached Friday “sets the stage for continued, robust 5G deployment.”

Tags 5G AT&T Billy Nolen Federal Aviation Administration Verizon
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