Aviation Industry Asks AT&T and Verizon to Delay 5G Deployment More Than 30 Days Due to Safety Risks

By B.N. Frank

American aviation experts have been warning for years that 5G frequencies could cause catastrophic interference issues with aviation instruments (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Nevertheless, proponents (including the Federal Communications Commission) continued to brush them off until last week when AT&T and Verizon finally agreed to delay additional 5G deployment until January.  The aviation industry, however, says it needs more time than that.

From Fierce Wireless:

Aviation industry seeks longer delay on C-band deployment

by Monica Alleven

As some folks predicted, 30 days isn’t enough time for the aviation industry to sort out its concerns about the C-band spectrum that AT&T and Verizon have been preparing to deploy.

Aviation organizations sent a letter to the White House calling for a delay in the deployment of C-band until “the safety and efficiency” of the National Airspace System (NAS) is ensured. There’s no specific end date attached to the request.

Last week, AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay their long-awaited launch of C-band spectrum until January 5, 2022 – one month after the initial deployments were expected. The delay is a blow to the carriers, especially Verizon, which has been touting the 5G benefits of C-band for months. The FAA and FCC said the reason for the pause is to “further assess any impact on aviation safety technologies.”

RELATED: AT&T, Verizon postpone C-Band rollouts until air safety review

Questions immediately rose as to whether one month would be enough time to sort out these concerns. The aviation industry promptly followed that up with a letter to the White House on Friday asking for the additional time; a press release followed this week.

In a letter to the National Economic Council (NEC), the coalition of aviation groups urged the FCC and FAA to convene a joint industry working group to bring the aviation and telecom industries together to find a long-term solution “that will protect the flying public by ensuring radio altimeters operate accurately while allowing 5G to roll out safely.”

“We believe it is incumbent on the National Economic Council (NEC) to work with the FCC and FAA to convene a joint industry working group and continue to delay the deployment of 5G technologies in this band until the safety and efficiency of the NAS is ensured. The goal of this working group would be to reach acceptable mitigations,” the letter states. “Aviation will not be able to maintain the current level of public safety and economic activity without support from the Biden-Harris Administration and the implementation of mitigations by the cellular industry.”

RELATED: What do FAA C-band delays mean for AT&T, Verizon?

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA), The Boeing Company, Garmin International, Helicopter Association International (HAI) and National Air Carrier Association (NACA) are among the 21 signatories on the letter to the White House.

All about time 

How much time does the aviation industry need, and how much time is the wireless industry willing to give?

Fierce reached out to AT&T and Verizon for comment, and both referred us to CTIA, which represents the wireless industry on legislative and lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C.

CTIA isn’t budging on the January timeframe. “After 17 years of global study, the U.S. government found that 5G can coexist safely with flights in the U.S. Today, there are already nearly 40 countries safely operating 5G with no harmful interference to air traffic,” said CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker in a statement today. “There is no scientific or engineering basis for further delay, and we cannot afford to fall behind as countries continue to launch and expand 5G operations in the C-band. The wireless industry intends to launch this service in the U.S. next January.”

Various paths forward are possible, such as new testing, that could give “all sides a graceful way to settle the dispute,” wrote analysts at New Street Research in a November 10 note for investors.

However, “the problem, in our view, continues to be that the Aviation side has little (to no) incentive to settle. Calling on the White House to convene a working group does point to a way to resolve the issue but the critical question is what does the letter mean by ‘significant time?’ While we laid out several paths that could lead to turning on the service in the next few months, the letter appears to contemplate a much longer time period before any 5G transmissions would be allowed,” they wrote.

Ericsson ‘stands ready’

Meanwhile, infrastructure vendor Ericsson filed a letter with the FCC (pdf) on Friday with details of a meeting between representatives of Ericsson and AT&T, as well as commission staff.

Much of the filing refers to information that’s treated as confidential and therefore not public, but the gist of the discussion revolved around the co-existence of 5G terrestrial networks in the 3.7 GHz band with radio altimeters in the 4.2-4.4 GHz band.

Ericsson presented the results of a simulation it performed that modeled altimeter interference exposure “under the actual conditions” at the Santa Monica, California, airport.

“This simulation modeled the emissions from base station equipment using Ericsson-specific Advanced Antenna System (AAS) patterns, as well as presenting data on the characteristics of those AAS in the vertical plane,” according to the filing, which doesn’t explain the results of the tests.

Asked to comment, Ericsson provided the following statement: “We are working with our customers and the FCC to understand the FAA’s concerns around C-band deployments. It is essential that all the proper information be provided by the aviation community so that fact-based decisions on the possibility of interference to radio altimeters can be determined. None of the nearly 40 countries that have deployed 5G base stations in the C-band have reported harmful interference with aviation equipment. Ericsson stands ready to evaluate co-existence scenarios to ensure that the deployment of 5G is a success.”

In addition to aviation safety risks, other serious issues have been identified with 5G technology including

Reports have also indicated that 4G service is still better than 5G (see 1, 2, 3).

The FCC has catered to the telecom and cable industries for decades (see 1, 2, 3).  This has led to numerous lawsuits filed against the agency for NOT protecting the public from unsafe levels of cell phone and WiFi radiation, 5G on Earth (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and in space, and also for allowing telecom and cable companies to overcharge Americans.  A 2020 lawsuit against the FCC determined that Americans have already paid to have access to safer and more secure high speed internet access via fiber optics to the premises and copper landlines (see 1, 2).  In August 2021, a federal court ruled in favor of petitioners who sued the FCC for not protecting Americans from harmful radiation exposure (see 1, 2).  More recently, an alliance in New Mexico petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take a stance on shameful telecom legislation passed in 1996.

Nevertheless, taxpayer money continues to be given to telecom and cable companies to “bridge the digital divide” with less secure (see 1, 2) and biologically harmful 5G and WiFi (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

Earlier this year, scientists submitted a letter to President Biden asking him to protect the public from 5G and other unsafe technology.  Instead he committed to adding more.  Americans opposed to any or all of this may sign and share the following online petitions 1, 2, 3.

Cities AND entire countries have taken action to ban, delay, halt, and limit 5G installation AS WELL AS issue moratoriums because of the numerous specific risks associated with it (see 1, 2).  Since 2017 doctors and scientists have been asking for 5G moratoriums on Earth and in space (see 1, 2) and the majority of scientists oppose deployment.  Since 2018 there have been reports of people and animals experiencing symptoms and illnesses after 5G was activated (see 1, 2, 3, 4).

Activist Post reports regularly about 5G and other unsafe technology.  For more information visit our archives and the following websites.

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