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5G news – latest: Rollout delayed as airlines fear flights will be severely affected by new technology



Wireless telecom giant AT&T announced the activation of 5G towers near some US airports would be delayed after airlines warned of “catastrophic disruption” of flights.

A day before AT&T is due to switch on its 5G towers, the company blasted the Federal Aviation Administration after airline CEOs asked the Biden administration warning the launch on Wednesday could cause thousands of flight cancellations affecting more than 100,000 passengers.

‘We are frustrated by the FAA’s inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it do so in a timely manner,’ AT&T officials said in a statement on Tuesday.

The high-speed 5G internet uses so-called C-band frequencies close to those used by aircraft to measure their altitude, with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) warning potential interference could affect sensitive airplane instruments such as altimeters and significantly hamper low-visibility operations.

The Biden administration took an “active role” in convincing wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon to delay the launch of 5G towers near airports, according to Reuters.

The outlet reported nearly all but a handful of the towers impacted by the delay belong to Verizon. While it was unclear how many that included, sources told Reuters that airlines proposed about 500 towers, or 10 per cent of the planned rollout, remain temporarily offline.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that the Biden administration is “committed to reaching a solution around 5G”.

Follow live updates below

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Joe Biden says Verizon and AT&T agreement avoids ‘potentially devastating disruptions’

Joe Biden weighed into the 5G delay, saying to the agreement to delay activation of 10 per cent of towers would “avoid potentially devastating disruptions to passenger travel, cargo operations, and our economic recovery”.

He added that the White House has been engaging the wireless carriers, airlines, and aviation equipment manufacturers to find a solution.

“At my direction, they will continue to do so until we close the remaining gap and reach a permanent, workable solution around these key airports,” he said.

Justin Vallejo18 January 2022 19:33

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White House convinced AT&T and Verizon to delay activation of 500 towers, report says

The Biden administration took an “active role” in convincing wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon to delay the launch of 5G towers near airports, according to Reuters.

The outlet reported nearly all but a handful of the towers impacted by the delay belong to Verizon. While it was unclear how many that included, sources told Reuters that airlines proposed about 500 towers, or 10 per cent of the planned rollout, remain temporarily offline.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that the Biden administration is “committed to reaching a solution around 5G”.

Justin Vallejo18 January 2022 19:25

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Watch: Pilots association slams 5G launch as ‘reckless’

Allied Pilots Association spokesperson Dennis Tajer said on Tuesday suggested that the rollout of 5G near airports could put the lives of passengers at risk.

“Take a pause. This is about a cellphone signal, and we’re focused on protecting lives.”

Watch the full exchange below:

Justin Vallejo18 January 2022 19:06

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HOW COULD 5G AFFECT FLIGHTS?

Following a flurry of headlines about the delay to the rollout of high-speed 5G internet in the US, many travellers have concerns about its potential effect on flight safety.

In early January, US mobile networks Verizon and AT&T agreed to push back their 5G rollouts – originally planned for December – until 19 January over aviation concerns, following a request from transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

However, this week top airline executives sent a letter to Buttigieg and other federal officials, saying in no uncertain terms that if the rollout goes ahead this week as planned, it could be “catastrophic” for the aviation industry.

So should we be worried about the dawn of 5G?

Here’s Lucy Thackray with everything we know so far.

Justin Vallejo18 January 2022 18:57

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BREAKING: AT&T delays switching on 5G near airports after airlines warn of ‘catastrophic disruption’

Wireless telecom giant AT&T announced the activation of 5G towers near some US airports would be delayed after airlines warned of “catastrophic disruption” of flights near certain airports.

A day before AT&T is due to switch on its 5G towers, the company blasted the Federal Aviation Administration after airline CEOs asked the Biden administration warning the launch on Wednesday could cause thousands of flight cancellations affecting more than 100,000 passengers.

Justin Vallejo18 January 2022 18:49





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