AT&T 5G C-band rollout begins in eight metropolitan areas

What just happened? AT&T is currently activating C-band 5G networks in limited parts of eight U.S. metropolitan areas after a voluntary six-week pause to give the Federal Aviation Administration and the aviation industry more time to complete rollout evaluations.

Clients in Austin, Chicago, Dallas Ft. Worth, Detroit, Jacksonville, Houston, Orlando and parts of South Florida should soon be able to access AT&T’s new 5G+ service.

C-band is midband spectrum which sits between AT&T’s low frequency (far-sighted) 5G service and high frequency (mmWave) service, the latter incredibly fast but with limited coverage. Thus, it is usually deployed in densely populated areas such as entertainment districts, sports stadiums and other places.

Wireless carriers, including AT&T and Verizon, are not happy with the FAA’s response to the 5G rollout. V statement released January 18, 2022, AT&T noted that the administration did not use the two years they had to responsibly plan for deployment.

“We are frustrated by the FAA’s failure to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it to do so in a timely manner.” — AT&T

The FAA and airlines are concerned that C-band waves may interfere with some aircraft’s sensitive equipment, such as an altimeter that is used to land an aircraft in poor visibility. In accordance with New York Times, airlines canceled about 240 flights on Wednesday in response to the actions of the carriers.

AT&T said it already has 17 devices available online and in stores that are compatible with its new C-Band service.

Image credit: Igor, Ahmed Muntasir

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