Verizon and AT&T approaching deadline for 5G deployment near airports and planes not ready, FAA warns

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The Federal Aviation Administration has sent a warning letter to airlines that the deadline for the full 5G expansion of Verizon or AT&T on C-Band frequencies around airports is fast approaching and that they need to accelerate their respective adaptation measures.

On these newfangled frequencies that Verizon and AT&T have purchased boats to continue their 5G network expansion, the outdoor antennas at or near airports can interfere with the altimeters used to determine an aircraft’s position relative to the ground.

While there is much controversy over the science and nature of the interference, the FAA, in consultation with wireless carriers, has imposed 5G extension restrictions near airports out of an abundance of caution. The provisional deadline for lifting that agreed restriction is July 5, and Reuters received the memo the FAA chief sent to airlines on the matter.

There are no guarantees that all major markets will maintain the current (guarantee)‘ he wrote, advising that the two most vulnerable categories of ‘less capable aircraft” needs to quickly install altimeter retrofits that can withstand the interference of the C-Band implementation.

The third group of aircraft currently the largest will have to adjust their altimeters next year, as “As things stand, Verizon and AT&T plan to fully roll out their networks by the end of 2023

Needless to say, the airlines aren’t shying away from spending extra money on altimeter retrofits that may become obsolete with continuous network deployments, as Verizon and AT&T work with the FAA and FCC to tweak their antenna locations, signal strength, and direction. of the potential points of failure .

It’s a process that is sure to remain controversial, as the FAA’s Nolen Nolen advised that “without additional action from the FCC to limit transmissions to currently achievable power levels, the prospect of additional disruptions remains and we are not in a position to provide any guarantees

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