AT&T and Verizon aren’t delaying 5G expansions any further, after all. Bloomberg He notes that the two companies’ executives have issued a joint letter rejecting a request from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation to halt the launch of C-band service after January 5 to address concerns about interference with aircraft systems. The companies argued that the government’s proposed plan would effectively give oversight of network expansions to the FAA for “an unspecified number of months or years,” and would not cover competitors such as T-Mobile.
The chief executives said the move would represent an “irresponsible waiver” of control over the network. They also believed that the fulfillment of the order would be “at the expense” of customers.
Instead, AT&T and Verizon tried to negotiate a compromise. They pledged not to deploy C-band 5G towers near some airports for six months, but only as long as the airline industry and regulators did not do more to stop C-band rollout. On December 31, US transportation agencies had requested a general delay not More than two weeks, but called for a gradual deployment of the service near “priority” airports until March to protect important runways.
It’s not clear how the FAA and the Department of Transportation will respond. Rejection isn’t shocking, keep in mind. C band service promises more advantages of the long-term speed of 5G than the short-range and poor internal service of millimeter wave technology. It could also add capacity to keep 5G networks running smoothly as more users upgrade their devices. However, officials and the airline industry also have a lot to lose – they worry that C-band 5G could disrupt flights and put passengers at risk. You may not see either side give up quickly.
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