Two of the country’s largest phone companies have turned down a government request to postpone the launch of 5G services this week.
Concerns over aircraft safety prompted US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to make the request.
AT&T and Verizon, on the other hand, have stated that they will put in place interim measures.
Plane manufacturers have warned that 5G wireless radiation in the C-Band frequency might interfere with delicate airplane systems, potentially disrupting flights.
The suggestion to delay the launch of 5G services by a fortnight, which is set to begin on January 5, would be “an irresponsible surrender of the operating control necessary to create world-class and internationally competitive communications networks,” according to AT&T and Verizon CEOs in a joint letter.
They did, however, say that they will not deploy 5G around airports for six months, similar to France’s approach.
The letter stated, “Physical laws are the same in the United States and France.”
“If US airlines are allowed to fly every day in France, then the same operating circumstances should be allowed in the United States,” it said.
However, the FAA stated that the situation in France is different, citing the fact that telecom companies in France employ lower 5G power levels than those permitted in the United States.
The aviation sector and the Federal Aviation Administration has previously expressed worries about 5G’s possible interference with aircraft equipment such as radio altitude meters.
Last month, the CEOs of the world’s two largest plane manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing, wrote to Mr Buttigieg, warning that “5G interference might significantly damage aircraft’s capacity to safely fly.”
According to data conducted by trade organization Airlines for America, nearly 345,000 passenger flights and 5,400 cargo aircraft would have experienced delays, diversions, or cancellations if the FAA’s 5G guidelines had been in place in 2019.
The airline industry organization encouraged the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the telecom sector to collaborate with the FAA and aviation firms, warning that if the FCC does not act, it will take the matter to court on Monday.
An FCC representative said on Sunday that the agency is “optimistic that by collaborating, we can both promote the wireless economy and maintain aircraft safety.”