FAA assist leads to roughly $70 billion 5G C-Band rollout by July 2023
In the cellular race, spectrum is king. So it comes as no surprise that AT&T and Verizon purchased close to $70 billion combined on 5G C-band spectrum early last year. Unfortunately, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had some bad news for the wireless carriers, issuing a warning and eventually delaying the roll out of its 5G C-band network. Now it looks like all parties have come to terms, reaching an amicable solution that should see the network up and running by July 2023.
The FAA issued a statement via its website, stating:
“Key stakeholders in the aviation and wireless industries have identified a series of steps that will continue to protect commercial air travel from disruption by 5G C-band interference while also enabling Verizon and AT&T to enhance service around certain airports.”
The FAA gave details about its approach to making this happen, with the work going forward being a “phased approach”. The main linchpin in this issue happens to be an altimeter, a device that pilots use to land a plane when weather conditions aren’t the best. In order to keep pilots safe and at the same time proceed with the 5G C-band rollout, regional aircraft pilots have started retrofitting radio frequency filters on alitmeters. This is being expedited to meet a deadline set for the end of the year.
A $70 billion wireless network finally ready to be put to use
While the above takes care of smaller regional aircrafts, commercial planes will have their own deadline, set for July 2023. Similar to regional aircrafts, commercial planes will also have their altimeters retrofitted with filters or if necessary, replaced entirely. In addition to the work above, the FAA is also partnering with wireless carriers to bring better service to airports in the safest way possible. In the meantime, Verizon and AT&T have already begun rolling out 5G C-band in other areas of the United States.
Source: Federal Aviation Administration