• By The Financial District

AT&T, Verizon Nix U.S. Bid For Delay In 5G Deployment

The chief executives of AT&T and Verizon Communications rejected a request to delay the planned Jan. 5 introduction of new 5G wireless service over aviation safety concerns but offered to temporarily adopt new safeguards, David Shepardson reported for Reuters.

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US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Steve Dickson had asked AT&T CEO John Stankey and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg late Friday for a commercial deployment delay of no more than two weeks.

In a joint letter on Sunday (Monday, Jan. 3, in Manila), they said they would not deploy 5G around airports for six months but rejected any broader limitation on using C-Band spectrum.

They said the Transportation Department proposal would be "an irresponsible abdication of the operating control required to deploy world-class and globally competitive communications networks."

The aviation industry and FAA have raised concerns about potential interference of 5G with sensitive aircraft electronics like radio altimeters that could disrupt flights. "The laws of physics are the same in the US and France," the CEOs wrote.

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"If US airlines are permitted to operate flights every day in France, then the same operating conditions should allow them to do so in the US. The exclusion zone AT&T and Verizon propose is currently in use in France," the carriers said, "with slight adaptation" reflecting "modest technical differences in how C-band is being deployed."

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