Telecom giants AT&T and Verizon agreed to punt the rollout of new 5G service, citing a request from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.)
The new 5G service in question, C-band spectrum, is designed to provide “wide average coverage and throughput uniformity“ for customers. It’s different from mmWave band spectrum, which provides more concentrated, super-high throughput.
The problem with C-band? It might cause interference in sensitive aircraft electronics due to similarities between the C-band and aviation operation spectrums. Industry specialists claim there is no evidence of interference.
The two telecom companies will work with the FAA to “address concerns about potential interference between key cockpit safety devices and towers on the ground transmitting 5G signals.”
Regardless of the outcomes of their work, both telecom giants will not be stopped from rolling out C-band. They shelled out big time for the spectrum last March — telecoms paid over $81 billion for licenses.
Verizon plans to deploy service on C-band spectrum in Q1 2022, covering over 100 million people. AT&T will delay its 5G deployment until the start of next year, but will continue its rollout in early January.