Washington (AFP) – US carriers, which threatened to sue phone companies AT&T and Verizon for demanding a delay in the rollout of 5G technology, said late Monday they had reached an agreement in principle to delay implementation until Dec. 19.
According to industry representatives, a last-minute draft agreement was reached first with operator AT&T, and then with Verizon, to delay the creation of new 5G frequency bands for 15 days.
An AT&T spokeswoman confirmed to AFP that it had reached an agreement with the Department of Transportation and “has agreed to another two weeks to roll out the service.”
An airline industry official said the operators “agreed not to deploy 5G technology on January 5, that is Wednesday, but on January 19.”
Verizon and AT&T this Sunday rejected a request from the authorities to delay the start of the 5G network again.
While airlines are citing potential interference with devices on board aircraft in particular, the entry of 5G service, tentatively scheduled for December 5, has already been delayed and was due to become effective on Wednesday.
“No one has signed off on anything yet, but we are currently pursuing the lawsuit during this two-week period,” said a representative for the airlines.
The companies were preparing to file a lawsuit to obtain the delay and technical modifications in the deployment of the high-speed network.
During the “two-week rest” period, changes to airport facilities in particular must be reviewed by the US Federal Aviation Regulation Authority, the FAA, “to ensure they meet all safety requirements for flights.”
Frequency bands 3.7 to 3.8 GHz were awarded to AT&T and Verizon in February after bidding for tens of billions of dollars.
Faced with concerns about potential interference problems with altimeters on aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued new guidance that limits the use of these devices on aircraft in certain situations.
But US airlines have protested the potential costs of implementing the new provisions and have called on the authorities to find a quick solution.
© 2022 AFP
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