AT&T has announced it will push back its plans to activate “a limited number” of 5G towers around “certain airport runways” after airlines warned the deployment could cause “catastrophic disruption” to travel and shipping. While AT&T has an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration to create buffer zones around 50 airports, the airline has confirmed that: The edge that it will stop the rollout of even more towers than originally planned.
The company is clearly not happy with the situation. In a statement to The edge, it said it “will continue to work with the aviation industry and the FAA to provide more information about our 5G deployment, as they have not used the two years they have had to responsibly plan for this deployment.” The statement also said the company is “frustrated by the FAA’s inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to deploy 5G technology securely without disrupting airline services, and we urge it to be done.” to do in a timely manner.”
Both AT&T and Verizon have clashed with airlines, claiming their new C-Band 5G towers could disrupt sensitive equipment, making it difficult to land in poor visibility. We have a great explanation explaining the whole situation, but the TL;DR is that this is just the latest in a series of delays.
In an effort to finally kick-start the rollout, AT&T and Verizon signed an agreement with the FAA earlier this month that would allow them to activate their towers on January 19, except in certain areas around 50 airports. On Monday, however, several airlines reportedly signed a letter to government officials warning again about the rollout.
In a statement to The edgeUnited Airlines said Monday that the 5G expansion would “result not only in hundreds of thousands of flight cancellations and disruptions for customers across the industry by 2022, but also in the suspension of cargo flights to these locations, which would negatively ripple effect on a global market.” already fragile supply chain.” The airline also said it is “begging”[s] the Biden administration to act quickly and apply the same common sense solutions here that have clearly worked so well around the world.
Verizon did not immediately respond to The edge‘s request for comment on whether it planned to introduce more limits than its agreement with the FAA requires.