Verizon and AT&T have decided to delay their rollouts until 5 January 2022, after the US Federal Aviation Administration raised possible interference concerns.
The move came following the FAA’s “special airworthiness information bulletin” a type of release that provides information and recommendations for the aviation community. The bulletin describes potential disruption to aeroplane altimeters caused by 5G services in the 3.7—3.8 GHz band.
The country’s spectrum regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) previously dismissed these concerns in 2020.
The FAA admitted in the bulletin that “there have not yet been proven reports of harmful interference due to wireless broadband operations internationally, although this issue is continuing to be studied”.
In Europe, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, which is the European Union’s equivalent of the FAA, has told the 5G Observatory that it is aware of the development in the US.
A spokesperson for the organisation says “EASA is not aware of any in-service incidents caused by 5G interference. The technical data received from the manufacturers also offers no conclusive evidence for immediate safety concerns. However, we will continue to monitor the situation closely”.