AT&t, Verizon agree to take new precautions to address air safety concerns

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AT&t, Verizon agree to take new precautions to address air safety concerns

AT&T and Verizon agree to new precautions to address 5 G air safety concerns. Verizon logo is seen on the 375 Pearl Street building in Manhattan, New York City.

AT&T and Verizon Communications agreed on Wednesday to adopt new precautions to address air safety concerns raised by the planned use of C-Band spectrum for 5 G wireless wireless.

The Federal Aviation Administration FAA and the aviation industry have raised concerns about possible interference caused by 5 G deployment with sensitive aircraft electronics like radio altimeters.

AT&T and Verizon have committed for six months to take additional steps to minimize energy coming from 5 G base stations nationwide and to an even greater degree around public airports and heliports, and said that should address concerns about radio altimeter performance. AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay commercial launch of C-band wireless service until Jan. 5 after the FAA issued a Nov. 2 bulletin warning that action may be needed to address the potential interference caused by 5 G deployment.

It is not yet clear if the measures are enough to address the concerns of the FAA, which did not immediately make a statement.

The FAA may issue an emergency directive to airlines by early December, and two House Democrats warned that it could include draconian restrictions on many critical flight operations. AT&T is adopting measures while additional evidence is evaluated from radio altimeter manufacturers. There are no credible evidence that a legitimate interference problem exists, but we agreed to take these additional steps to alleviate any safety concerns from the FAA. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel told reporters last week she was confident that concerns about air safety can be addressed.

Wireless groups argue that there have been no C-Band aviation safety issues in other countries using the spectrum.

AT&T and Verizon said the commitments will expire on July 6 unless credible evidence exists that real world interference would occur if the mitigations were relaxed.