The headline is this: AT&T and Verizon will delay 5G service near some airports.
How we got to this point is fascinating. Reading from the New York Times… 5G cellular service will provide much faster access to the internet than current wireless technology.
It is set to happen today. (I just looked. My phone says I’m using it.)
Here’s the problem… 5G interferes with some airplane instrumentation. Specifically, safety equipment used to determine a plane’s altitude. Signals used by radio altimeters which help pilots land in low visibility situations.
As bad as all that sounds, the biggest concern here seems to be flight disruptions. Some foreign carriers canceled flights to the U.S. Delta Airlines says it’s preparing for the possibility of weather related cancellations if 5G is turned on near airports.
Tampa International Airport says it’s rare for visibility to be bad enough for planes not to be able to land.
Fox 13 Tampa Bay is reporting that both Verizon and AT&T are delaying their 5G rollouts near some airports.
AT&T released this statement: “At our sole discretion, we have voluntarily agreed to temporarily defer turning on a limited number of towers around certain airport runways.”
AT&T would not say which airports.
What surprises me most about this is didn’t everyone know this was coming?
5G has been successfully activated in more than 40 other countries. Fox News is reporting that in the UK and across Europe there has not been a recorded case of interference.
So, what’s the concern? Aviation expert Bill Hensley tells Fox: “In some European countries, 5G has been deployed, but some engineers tell me it’s at a lower power level. So, we are concerned about the power level of 5G towers in the United States.”
So, here we are. We all want faster, better Internet. 5G delivers. At what cost? For now, 4G is enough for me.