U.S. outlines agreement with AT&T and Verizon on 5G delays-Reuters letter

© Reuters. File photo: US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg speaks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, November 10, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman

David Shepardson

Washington (Reuters)-According to a previously unreported letter, U.S. transportation officials told wireless operators that in the absence of any “unforeseeable aviation safety issues”, the government will not seek further steps after January 19 Delay the deployment of 5G wireless services.

US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and FAA Director Steve Dickson gave AT&T (NYSE:) and Verizon Communications (NYSE:), outlines the agreement to postpone the C-band wireless deployment originally scheduled to begin on Wednesday by two weeks.

They wrote that the agreement “will provide us with more time and space to reduce the impact on commercial flights.” “We believe that your voluntary steps will support the safe coexistence of 5G C-band deployment and aviation activities, and help maintain the United States’ economic strength and global leadership.”

The accompanying “final list of terms” stated that unless “unforeseen aviation safety issues” arise, US agencies “will not seek or require further postponement of all or part of the C-band deployment, including postponing the resumption of daily operations.”

An industry official told Reuters that the deal assures them that they will be able to begin deployment this month.

The aviation industry and the FAA have expressed concerns about 5G’s potential interference with sensitive aircraft electronic equipment such as radio altimeters, which may disrupt flights.

AT&T and Verizon agreed on Sunday to adopt a six-month no-go zone around some airports to reflect the safeguards taken by France.

The letter said that by Friday, regulators will provide operators with “a list of no more than 50 priority airports, and they will propose to include these airports in the C-band exclusion zone.” This was proposed by AT&T and Verizon on Sunday.

Other requirements for “voluntary surgical mitigation measures at any individual airport” may be proposed, but AT&T and Verizon “shall determine for themselves whether any required mitigation, adjustments or changes will be made.”

Last year, AT&T and Verizon won almost all of the C-band spectrum in a $80 billion auction. Verizon paid a total of US$52.9 billion for the spectrum, including incentives and clearing fees.

Six months after the FAA raised safety issues and took voluntary precautions, AT&T and Verizon agreed in November to postpone deployment by 30 days to January 5.

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