Verizon and AT&T offer to temporarily lower 5G’s power to avoid aircraft interference

As the Federal Aviation Administration continues taking a look at whether mid-band 5G spectrum could posture a danger to airplane safety systems, Verizon and AT&T have provided to dial back the power originating from 5G cell towers for a duration of 6 months to reduce any market concerns. Both providers are preparing to release important upgrades to their respective 5G networks using spectrum gotten in the C-band auction. This will lead to more robust 5G connectivity and faster speeds compared to the base-level 5G experience that Verizon and AT&T presently use today.
In early November, both companies accepted push back the rollout by an additional month to January 2022. In a letter sent out to the FCC today, they made clear that theyll be progressing with the planned mid-band 5G launch at that time. “This spectrum will be the foundation of our 5G networks for several years to come,” the companies said in the letter, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
In support of the technology, Verizon and AT&T indicate years of research about possible interference and note that mid-band 5G hasnt wreaked havoc for flights in other countries where mid-band 5G is currently in place. “While we stay confident that 5G poses no threat to air safety, we are also conscious the Federal Aviation Administrations desire for extra analysis of this concern.”
To help prevent a drawn-out dispute with the FAA, the 2 carriers state theyll voluntarily take additional safety measures through July 2022 “to decrease energy originating from 5G base stations– both across the country and to an even higher degree around public airports and heliports.” That need to suffice to “ease issues about radio altimeter performance,” the companies said, while likewise keeping strong performance for cordless consumers. Altimeters can assist airplane operators throughout landings, especially when handling poor exposure conditions.
Its not yet clear whether the proposal will be accepted by the FAA, which has actually warned pilots of the possibility that “interference from 5G transmitters and other innovation could cause certain safety devices to malfunction, needing them to take mitigating action that could affect flight operations.” After July 6th, both providers state theyll set whatever back to normal “unless reliable evidence exists that real-world disturbance would happen if the mitigations were relaxed.”
“Our use of this spectrum will dramatically expand the reach and capabilities of the nations next-generation 5G networks, advancing US leadership, and bringing massive benefits to consumers and the US economy,” Verizon and AT&T claimed in their joint letter sent to FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel.

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