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AT&T, Verizon CEOs reject U.S. request for 5G deployment delay By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A contract crew from Verizon installs 5G telecommunications gear on a tower in Orem, Utah, U.S. December 3, 2019. REUTERS/George Frey


By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The chief executives of AT&T (NYSE:) and Verizon Communications (NYSE:) rejected a request to delay the deliberate Jan. 5 introduction of recent 5G wi-fi service over aviation security issues however supplied to quickly undertake new safeguards.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson had requested AT&T CEO John Stankey and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg late Friday for a industrial deployment delay of not more than two weeks.

The wi-fi corporations in a joint letter on Sunday stated they might not deploy 5G round airports for six months however rejected any broader limitation on utilizing C-Band spectrum. They stated the Transportation Division proposal can be “an irresponsible abdication of the working management required to deploy world-class and globally aggressive communications networks.”

The aviation business and FAA have raised issues about potential interference of 5G with delicate plane electronics like radio altimeters that would disrupt flights.

The exclusion zone AT&T and Verizon suggest is at present in use in France, the carriers stated, “with slight adaption” reflecting “modest technical variations in how C-band is being deployed.”

“The legal guidelines of physics are the identical in the US and France,” the CEOs wrote. “If U.S. airways are permitted to function flights each day in France, then the identical working situations ought to enable them to take action in the US.”

The FAA stated in a press release on Sunday that it was “reviewing the most recent letter from the wi-fi corporations on how one can mitigate interference from 5G C-band transmissions. U.S. aviation security requirements will information our subsequent actions.”

FAA officers stated France makes use of spectrum for 5G that sits additional away from spectrum used for radio altimeters and makes use of decrease energy ranges for 5G than these licensed in the US.

Verizon stated it is going to initially solely use spectrum in the identical vary as utilized in France, including will probably be a few years earlier than it makes use of extra spectrum. The bigger U.S. exclusion zone round U.S. airports is “to make up for the slight distinction in energy ranges between the 2 nations,” Verizon added.

Sara Nelson, president of the Affiliation of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), representing 50,000 staff at 17 airways, on Sunday wrote on Twitter (NYSE:) that pilots, airways, producers and others “have NO incentive to delay 5G, aside from SAFETY. What do they suppose … we’re elevating these points over the vacations for, kicks?”

The Air Line Pilots Affiliation additionally backed the delay.

Authorities and business officers stated the exclusion zones proposed by the wi-fi carriers just isn’t as massive as what has been sought by the FAA.

The FAA and Buttigieg on Friday proposed figuring out precedence airports “the place a buffer zone would allow aviation operations to proceed safely whereas the FAA completes its assessments of the interference potential.”

The wi-fi carriers, which received the C-Band spectrum in an $80 billion authorities public sale, beforehand agreed to precautionary measures for six months to restrict interference however say the upgrades are important to compete with different international locations like China and to allow distant working.

Commerce group Airways for America, representing American Airways (NASDAQ:), FedEx (NYSE:) and different carriers, on Thursday requested the Federal Communications Fee (FCC) to halt deployment round many airports, warning 1000’s of flights could possibly be disrupted each day.

The airline group has stated it could go to court docket Monday if the FCC doesn’t act. The group urged the FCC and the telecom business to work with the FAA and the aviation business to “allow the rollout of 5G know-how whereas prioritizing security and avoiding any disruption to the aviation system.”

An FCC spokesperson stated Sunday the company is “optimistic that by working collectively we are able to each advance the wi-fi financial system and guarantee aviation security.”

Wi-fi business group CTIA stated 5G is protected and spectrum is being utilized in about 40 different international locations.

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