WASHINGTON (AFP) AT&T and Verizon, the two largest US telecommunications companies, agreed on Monday to postpone the implementation of 5G wireless service due to fears that it could interfere with flight safety equipment, according to AT&T and airline officials.

“We have voluntarily agreed to one extra two-week postponement of our rollout of C-Band 5G services at the request of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg,” AT&T said in a statement.

“We know that aircraft safety and 5G can coexist, and we are optimistic that additional collaboration and technical review will resolve any difficulties,” the business stated.

The move comes a day after AT&T and Verizon refused to delay their 5G technology deployment, which was set to begin on Wednesday, causing airlines to threaten legal action.

According to airline industry representatives, a last-minute draught deal was made first with AT&T and subsequently with Verizon to delay the rollout of their new 5G frequency bands by fifteen days.

Aviation regulators are concerned that the new system will interfere with planes’ altitude-measuring devices, and the rollout, which was originally scheduled for December 5, has already been postponed.

“No one has signed anything yet,” an airline industry executive said, “but we will be holding in abeyance for the next two weeks while individuals work feverishly to reach an agreement.”

During the two-week pause, upgrades to airport facilities will need to be examined by the FAA, which will “deem those mitigation factors in that deployment in those airports to be safe for flying,” according to an airline official.

After a multibillion-dollar bidding war, AT&T and Verizon were given the 3.7-3.8 GHz frequency bands in February.

The FAA had issued new rules limiting the use of these devices in specific scenarios due to concerns about potential interference problems with sensors detecting altitude in flights.

US airlines have expressed their displeasure with the possible expenses and have urged authorities to find a swift solution.

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