The four largest mobile network operators in the US have informed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they have agreed to a number of voluntary commitments related to air traffic safety and the deployment of C-band spectrum. Verizon Wireless, AT&T Communications, T-Mobile US and UScellular sent a letter to the FCC on Friday 31 March detailing the measures that they will implement at a total of 188 airports. The long-standing issues relate to perceived interference concerns between 5G signals in the 3.7GHz-3.98GHz band and aircraft radio altimeters which use 4.2GHz-4.4GHz spectrum.
As per the FCC document, the voluntary commitments will last until 1 January 2028, at which point they will cease to apply – unless extended or reduced by mutual agreement. A mid-term check-in will occur in July 2026 to assess the status of aviation’s long-term migration to next-generation radio altimeters and the need for the sustainment of these commitments.
Fierce Wireless quotes Verizon as saying: ‘As we’ve said from the beginning, C-band wireless operations and aviation can safely co-exist, something that’s been proven in the US and around the globe. We remain very optimistic about our C-band deployment as it brings new 5G opportunities to our customers.’ Verizon expects to be able to put the C-band frequencies to use from 1 July.