AT&T and Verizon were the big winners of the FCC's C-Band spectrum auction earlier this year, and they have spent much of 2021 preparing to launch their first 5G service deployments using this spectrum as early as December 5th - greatly enhancing the true "next generation" potential of their 5G networks.
This piece of spectrum has been designated Band n77 for 5G cellular use.
But the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has expressed concerns that parts of the C-band frequencies planned for usage could interfere with aircraft systems or cause disruptions in airline flights and operations.
According the a statement last week from the FCC, as reported on by Fierce Wireless, the carriers have agreed to a voluntary one month delay of their C-Band rollout to allow more time for safety analysis:
"Today Verizon and AT&T announced that they will voluntarily pause commercial launch of C-band wireless service to further assess any impact on aviation safety technologies. Aviation safety and technology leadership are national priorities, and with today’s announcement these companies have demonstrated their commitment to both. The Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission will continue to coordinate closely to ensure that the United States keeps pace with the rest of the world in deploying next-generation communications technologies safely and without undue delay.”
This C-Band spectrum is already in use in many other countries with no reported issues, so this may just be a regulatory power struggle between the FCC and FAA.
According to analysis published by 5G Americas in a July:
“Several countries have been deploying 5G in spectrum near the radio altimeter band with no reports of interference. In the United States, the federal government has operated radar and communications systems in spectrum near the radio altimeter band for decades."
Key Mobile Internet Related Considerations
Our Video Version of the Story:
For more information:
- Fierce Wireless: AT&T, Verizon postpone C-Band rollouts until air safety review
- Fierce Wireless: FAA issues warning on potential safety risks from 5G C-band
Updates Made to our Content as a Result of This news:
- Guide: 5G Cellular Fundamentals for Mobile Internet
- Guide: Understanding Cellular Frequencies
- 5G Cellular Resources - All of our guides & articles tracking 5G.
And here is all of our past C-Band coverage:
- Our Featured Story on the C-Band Auction: FCC’s Massive C-Band Auction Begins – Shaping The Future of 5G
- And On The Results: Verizon Goes Big in C-Band Auction – Investing Billions in 5G Spectrum
- 5G Industry Update: Is 2022 The Year 5G Gets Interesting? Posted on: February 17, 2022
- C-Band 5G Rolls Out on Verizon and AT&T, T-Mobile Enables 5G Carrier Aggregation Posted on: January 19, 2022
- Verizon Ends Unlimited 5G Ultra Wideband Mobile Hotspot - Except Prepaid? Posted on: January 10, 2022
- FAA vs FCC Drama: Verizon and AT&T Delay C-Band 5G Launch Two More Weeks Posted on: January 4, 2022
- Verizon and AT&T Delay C-Band 5G Launch to Address FAA Aviation Safety Concerns Posted on: November 8, 2021