Wireless companies reject US government call to delay 5G roll-out

There are fears that 5G signals can interfere with radar altimeters on aircraft. The altimeters use frequencies close to those allotted to US 5G operators.

Buttigeig told the companies that deploying the service could force airlines into “widespread and unacceptable disruption.”

He asked for the delay to find “a near-term solution for advancing the co-existence of 5G deployment in the C-Band and safe flight operations.”

On December 23rd, the FAA had warned that aircraft safety devices could malfunction from missing or erroneous altimeter readings.

Yesterday’s letter from Verizon and AT&T to Buttigieg said the Transportation Department’s proposal would be “an irresponsible abdication of the operating control required to deploy world-class and globally competitive communications networks.”

The wireless operators contend that 5G power levels are too low to cause  interference.

However the two wireless operators agreed not to deploy 5G near to airports for six months.

Earlier the wireless companies had accused the aerospace industry of trying to hold them hostage “until the wireless industry agrees to cover the costs of upgrading any obsolete altimeters.”

The FAA says it is looking at ways to protect airports and, in some cases, specific runways, from the possibility of interference before 5G services are rolled out in their vicinity.

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