AT&T to delay 5G service at some airports after airlines warn of chaos

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“To be very clear, we are incredibly disappointed at this point that the entire US airline industry is facing major disruption as new wireless technology is enabled,” he said. he declares. “The two should be able to co-exist, but that only comes with a better understanding of the potential impacts.”

Industry and aviation regulators had been raising concerns about 5G interference for the past few years. In November 2020, for example, the International Air Transport Association, a global trade group, warned that such interference could trigger automated systems forcing planes to stop to avoid ghost objects, or could prevent planes from flying. warn pilots of real obstacles.

Airlines and the FAA have started increasing warnings in recent months, leading Verizon and AT&T to delay their limited 5G rollout from December to early January and again to this Wednesday. The latest delay came after the FAA, which is part of Mr. Buttigieg’s department, reached an agreement in early January, buying more time to prepare security measures.

The FAA said at the time that it would not seek further delays after Verizon and AT&T agreed to the latest postponement. At the time, Airlines for America said in a statement that it would “continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure the new 5G service can safely co-exist with aviation.”

The telecoms industry has pushed back on concerns raised by airlines and the FAA, noting that 5G has taken years to get off the ground and the service has already been introduced in Britain, France and other countries. , mostly without incident.

“In our view, the technical information used to generate concern shows unlikely worst-case scenarios,” the GSMA, a global wireless industry group, said Monday.

The FAA noted, however, that there are technical differences in how 5G is implemented in other countries. In the United States, planes would only be protected from 5G interference in the last 20 seconds of flight, compared to 96 seconds in France, for example. The temporary power limits that US cellphone companies have accepted are still about 2.5 times higher than the permanent limits used in France, according to information published online by the agency. In the fall, the Canadian government announced that it would limit 5G service near most major airports.

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