Leading US cellular operators Verizon and AT&T have agreed to restrict some of their 5G services for six months so that regulators can check if next-generation networks are interfering with the operation of aircraft and helicopter on-board systems. The companies reported this in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which was consulted by The Wall Street Journal. The operators said they would temporarily weaken the signal from their 5G towers across the country and impose tight restrictions on signal strength from towers located near airports.
“We are confident that 5G does not pose a security risk. But we take into account the desire of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct additional analysis, ”the companies said in a letter. In early December, the companies agreed to suspend the launch of new 5G facilities while the FAA examines the potential impact of these networks on aircraft and helicopter systems in the form of frequency interference. This decision was made by the operators after several meetings with representatives of the FCC, FAA and independent experts.
An FCC spokesman said the companies’ decision to temporarily restrict the operation of their 5G networks “represents one of the most consistent aviation technology safety campaigns in history.” The FCC also pledged that it will work closely with the FAA “to quickly deploy and secure 5G networks.”