AT&T & Verizon won't delay 5G rollout over aviation safety concerns

Posted:
in General Discussion
Verizon and AT&T have both rejected requests to delay the rollout of new 5G spectrum over aviation concerns, and will instead offer temporary safeguards.

AT&T, Verizon decline to delay 5G rollout
AT&T, Verizon decline to delay 5G rollout


Previously, the Federal Aviation Administration and other government officials had asked AT&T and Verizon to delay the introduction of the C-Band spectrum for two weeks. The companies agreed to not deploy the 5G spectrum around airports for six months but rejected any other limitations, Reuters reported Sunday.

In a joint letter, AT&T and Verizon said the delay of their 5G rollout would be "an irresponsible abdication of the operating control required to deploy world-class and globally competitive communications networks."

The FAA has voiced concerns about the C-Band spectrum, suggesting that it could interfere with certain automated cockpit systems. The spectrum, however, is currently in use in other countries like France with no reported problems.

"The laws of physics are the same in the United States and France," AT&T's and Verizon's chief executives wrote. "If U.S. airlines are permitted to operate flights every day in France, then the same operating conditions should allow them to do so in the United States."

Their proposal to offer an exclusion zone around airports is currently in use in France, the executives wrote. However, the U.S. exclusion zones would have a "slight adaptation" because of "modest technical differences in how C-band is being deployed."

On Sunday, the FAA said that it was "reviewing the latest letter from the wireless companies on how to mitigate interference from 5G C-band transmissions." The FAA added that "U.S. aviation safety standards will guide our next actions."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    longpathlongpath Posts: 382member
    I confess to certain level of surprise that the FCC is oddly silent on this matter, as the FAA is essentially encroaching on their ostensible purview. I should also point out that the various US militaries have used C-band devices in conjunction with military aircraft without ill effect and have been used for terrestrial and satellite communication since the 1950s, so any dire consequences ought to have surfaced long ago.
    edited January 3 viclauyycjony0
  • Reply 2 of 9
    wd4fsuwd4fsu Posts: 26member
    What mystifies me is that the airlines are not saying (or the news media isn't reporting) what DATA they are seeing to warrant the delays.  It sounds like emotion and paranoia is guiding their actions and sadly, this has the desired effect on the public and elected officials.

    On the flip side, the telcos have DATA (actual test results) showing that little or no concern about interference exists.


    edited January 3 longpathjony0
  • Reply 3 of 9
    Carriers want to saturate airports with 5G service because that's a domain of lucrative customers.
    The "automated cockpit system" component in question is the ground radar altimeter.

    When these precision landing radar systems were designed and deployed, flying into a soup of
    competing frequencies at low altitude wasn't a design consideration.  

    Considering the potential for catastrophe in a fault condition, involuntarily placing airline passengers
    into carrier's beta tests looks like yet another money over safety risk that will bring all sorts of hand
    wringing and finger pointing when an aircraft crashes short of the runway into a housing development.

    But what's a few hundred lives when there's money to be made?
    lkrupp
  • Reply 4 of 9
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,991member
    To this day you still have put your phone in ‘Airplane Mode’ when flying. Basically that means turning off the cellular modem because most airlines provide WiFi to passengers while flying these days. And from personal experience I know a lot of passengers don’t turn on airplane mode.
    edited January 3 williamlondonmacxpresslongpathjony0
  • Reply 5 of 9
    cdycdy Posts: 11member
    Carriers want to saturate airports with 5G service because that's a domain of lucrative customers.
    The "automated cockpit system" component in question is the ground radar altimeter.

    When these precision landing radar systems were designed and deployed, flying into a soup of
    competing frequencies at low altitude wasn't a design consideration.  

    Considering the potential for catastrophe in a fault condition, involuntarily placing airline passengers
    into carrier's beta tests looks like yet another money over safety risk that will bring all sorts of hand
    wringing and finger pointing when an aircraft crashes short of the runway into a housing development.

    But what's a few hundred lives when there's money to be made?
    The carriers spent ~$80 billion (~$45 billion just by Verizon) for the rights to C-Band and the government took their money. They have a right to use it. Also, the FCC authorized their use of this band, and it's the FCC's purview to do so. Instead of playing this up in the media, the FAA should be talking to the FCC staffers that did the science.
    AppleUfmyIlongpath
  • Reply 6 of 9
    I've stayed many times in London Heathrow as well as London Gatwick hotels and in both places have enjoyed gloriously fast 5G.
    No problems as far as those airports are concerned.
    longpath
  • Reply 7 of 9
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    wd4fsu said:
    What mystifies me is that the airlines are not saying (or the news media isn't reporting) what DATA they are seeing to warrant the delays.  It sounds like emotion and paranoia is guiding their actions and sadly, this has the desired effect on the public and elected officials.

    On the flip side, the telcos have DATA (actual test results) showing that little or no concern about interference exists.



    This part of the spectrum is used for altimeters required to safely land planes -- especially in inclement weather.   If Verizon & AT&T suck it all up, planes may start crashing.  But that's a small price too pay for additional profits.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    longpathlongpath Posts: 382member
    wd4fsu said:
    What mystifies me is that the airlines are not saying (or the news media isn't reporting) what DATA they are seeing to warrant the delays.  It sounds like emotion and paranoia is guiding their actions and sadly, this has the desired effect on the public and elected officials.

    On the flip side, the telcos have DATA (actual test results) showing that little or no concern about interference exists.



    This part of the spectrum is used for altimeters required to safely land planes -- especially in inclement weather.   If Verizon & AT&T suck it all up, planes may start crashing.  But that's a small price too pay for additional profits.
    I take it you enjoy making alarmist claims in contradiction of facts. The FCC has sold rights to specific frequencies to the telcos. Those specific frequencies are not simultaneously authorized to aviation use. C-Band has been in general use since the 1950s. If the appeal to emotion fallacy scenario you are painting was supported by facts, then the scenario you depict would have already occurred, providing factual data. Please try to constrain yourself to facts and logic, as difficult as you may find it.
    jony0
  • Reply 9 of 9
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    longpath said:
    wd4fsu said:
    What mystifies me is that the airlines are not saying (or the news media isn't reporting) what DATA they are seeing to warrant the delays.  It sounds like emotion and paranoia is guiding their actions and sadly, this has the desired effect on the public and elected officials.

    On the flip side, the telcos have DATA (actual test results) showing that little or no concern about interference exists.



    This part of the spectrum is used for altimeters required to safely land planes -- especially in inclement weather.   If Verizon & AT&T suck it all up, planes may start crashing.  But that's a small price too pay for additional profits.
    ... Those specific frequencies are not simultaneously authorized to aviation use. ...

    The airlines who are using them called bullshit on that claim!
    But, apparently, as I said, Verizon and AT&T seem to think that their profits are more important than the lives on the planes that could crash when their altimeters don't work.

    Maybe we should just have T-Mobile supply 5G around airports.   unlike Verizon & AT&T, they seem to know how to do 5G without causing planes to crash.
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