Verizon and AT&T bow to aviation pressure, delay 5G deployment

Verizon Communications and AT&T Inc have agreed to a two-week delay in deploying C-Band wireless spectrum.

The agreement averts a clash between the carriers and the White House, airlines and aviation unions that have pressurized the companies to delay the deployment.

Aviation unions and airlines had clamoured for delays amid concerns about potential interference of 5G with sensitive aircraft electronics like radio altimeters that could disrupt flights.

The agreement pushes back the deployment date to Jan. 19.

Over the next two weeks, regulators, airlines and wireless carriers will look at ways of minimizing the potential impact of interference on flight operations, Reuters reports.

Groups representing U.S. airlines, aircraft manufacturers and airports had urged the White House to intervene to delay the use by wireless carriers of C-Band spectrum for 5G, which the carriers won in an $80 billion government auction.

In December, the FAA warned that interference from the planned use of 5G wireless spectrum posed an air safety risk and could result in flight diversions.