Tech Tuesday: AT&T, Verizon hit pause on new 5G network

Tech Tuesday

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — As the new high-speed 5G roll-out inches closer, fears are growing from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA wants to know if 5G can interfere with planes in flight.

AT&T and Verizon had plans to launch a new, high-speed 5G network next month, but now they’re hitting the pause button due to the FAA expressing deep concern over the new technology and any potential impact on planes in the air right before the holidays.

“The FAA doesn’t really know whether using this part of the 5G spectrum will interfere in any way with a radar altimeter of commercial airliners,” said Aviation Contributor Stephen Ganyard.

The radar altimeter is critical to flight, especially when landing in bad weather, telling pilots exactly how close the plane is to the ground.

“If a passenger airplane doesn’t have a functioning radar altimeter, it’s not going to go fly,” continued Ganyard.

AT&T and Verizon, two of the nation’s busiest carriers, were to be the first to roll out this new 5G network.

Verizon was hoping to provide the service to 100 million Americans by March.

The FAA sent a bulletin to aircraft manufacturers and operators, asking for any data that could help them understand if it’s safe for planes.

“We’re gonna have to see what the FAA will do working with not only the technology providers, but the AV aviation industry to make sure that there’s enough testing involved,” said National Security Expert Javed Ali.

Other countries have already launched this 5G technology, and the FAA says so far, it hasn’t seen any evidence of harmful signals.

Still, Canada made sure to keep the special c-band 5G towers away from airports.

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