By John Ikani
Telecom operators AT&T and Verizon have been ordered to delay for up to two weeks their already postponed rollout of 5G networks.
The order issued by the US Government comes amid uncertainty about interference of 5G technology with vital flight safety equipment.
The two companies said Saturday (Jan 1) they are reviewing the request.
The US rollout of the high-speed mobile broadband technology had been set for December 5, but was delayed to Jan 5 after aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing raised concerns about potential interference with the devices planes use to measure altitude.
Last February, Verizon and AT&T were authorized to start using 3.7-3.8 GHz frequency bands as of December 5, after obtaining licenses worth tens of billions of dollars.
But when Airbus and Boeing raised their concerns about possible interference with airplanes’ radio altimeters – which can operate at the same frequencies – the launch date was pushed back to January.
The conflict between 5G networks and aircraft equipment led French authorities to recommend switching off mobile phones with 5G on planes in February.
France’s civil aviation authority said interference from a signal on a nearby frequency to the radio altimeter could cause “critical” errors during landing.