US operators further postpone 5G deployment near airports

US operators further postpone 5G deployment near airports

Operators Verizon and AT&T are postponing the deployment of 5G near US airports until July 2023. The news was shared by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The delay gives the aviation industry time to adapt aircraft and prevent interference of 5G signals.

The deployment of 5G networks near US airports is a thorn in the flesh of many airlines. Experts believe that 5G’s frequencies may interfere with the altimetry equipment on aircraft. To adjust their aircraft, airlines have been lobbying to delay the activation of 5G since January of this year.

Phased activation until July 2023

In a new statement, AT&T and Verizon say they will continue to limit the activation of 5G networks near airports. Although some networks will be activated in the coming months, full deployment is postponed until July 2023.

The new deadline gives airlines more time to adapt their planes with signal filters for altitude. The FAA reportedly developed a technique that allows operators to control signal strength around the runways, which facilitates the phased deployment.

Pressure on filters

The FAA called on airlines to quickly install the filters required to prevent disruptions of air traffic. Various US airlines reacted sceptically. Some indicate that the extra time is insufficient to adapt all aircraft.