Verizon, AT&T Agree to Delay 5G Rollout for Two Weeks After Plea From Airline Industry
© AP Photo / Richard DrewFILE - In this Oct. 21, 2014, file photo, people pass an AT&T store along New York's Madison Avenue. The nation's largest cellphone providers will pay a combined $116 million under a settlement approved Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in a California lawsuit alleging that they overcharged government customers for wireless services over more than a decade. Verizon will pay $68 million and AT&T Mobility $48 million to settle claims that they violated cost-saving agreements with nearly 300 state and local governments.
© AP Photo / Richard Drew
Earlier, the US airline industry and the nation's Federal Aviation Administration had urged major communication firms Verizon and AT&T against moving forward with their rollout the new 5G service, over safety concerns regarding commercial flights.
AT&T and Verizon Communications announced late Monday that they would postpone for a period of two weeks the rollout of their new 5G service, after concerns were raised by airlines over the potential effect the telecommunications technology could have on aircraft electronics.
The separate Monday statements came just two days before the companies were expected to move ahead with their highly-anticipated 5G launch, and one day after they rejected a request from top level administration officials to delay their effort.
"We've agreed to two-week delay which promises the certainty of bringing this nation our game-changing 5G network in January," Verizon said in a statement following intensive talks with the US Federal Aviation Administration and other government officials.
The release issued by AT&T further noted that the firms remained "committed to the six-month protection zone mitigations" that were previously outlined in a Sunday letter that relayed the two firms would not accede to the FAA and the US Department of Transportation's request to postpone their 5G efforts.
The potential compromise proposes that the companies avoid deployment of the C-band spectrum meant to expand 5G services around certain "priority airports."
"We know aviation safety and 5G can co-exist and we are confident further collaboration and technical assessment will allay any issues," according to the brief release.
A response from Verizon and AT&T emerged shortly after airline and aircraft manufacturers argued that the 5G project would have a negative effect on altitude-sensing radar altimeters, prompting unsafe landings for commercial flights.
3 January, 22:33 GMT
Earlier, the Airlines for America trade group predicted that some 350,000 flights would be affected with the rollout, a move that would have far-reaching effects on millions of travelers.