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Major airlines are still freaking out over new 5G rollout, citing ‘catastrophic’ consequences

The new frequencies are set to launch this week.

Airplane seats
Image: Unsplash

UPDATE 1/18/2021 3:18 PM ET: Both AT&T and Verizon have agreed to halt the rollout of their new 5G spectrum in areas around airports. Read more here.

Airlines are once again worried about the rollout of the new C-Band spectrum of 5G frequencies that is set to roll out later this week. Chief executives from several major airlines have come together to pen yet another letter warning about the new 5G implementation.

According to a new report from Reuters, airlines are still not prepared for the new 5G spectrum. This is an issue that has been going on for a while now, causing pretty major delays in the implementation of the new 5G C-Band frequencies.

Both AT&T and Verizon planned to roll out their new 5G spectrum way back in November. However, the companies received some pushback from airlines saying that the new spectrum of frequencies could potentially interfere with radio altimeters used by airlines to determine elevation.

READ MORE: 5G puts airplanes at risk – this electrical engineer explains why

The companies initially agreed to delay the new frequency until January. But that wasn’t enough and both companies agreed to an additional two-week delay earlier this month that pushed the rollout date back to Wednesday, January 19.

Airline message regarding 5g
Image: Reuters

And the concerns are still there from airline companies. The most recent letter to officials, penned by leaders from American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and others, warns of the potential shutdown that the new C-Band could cause.

READ MORE: Delta’s new AI-powered screen shows personalized flight info

The airlines ask that Verizon and AT&T implement the new 5G frequencies everywhere except for in a two-mile radius of popular airline runways. “Immediate intervention is needed to avoid significant operational disruption to air passengers, shippers, supply chain, and delivery of needed medical supplies,” reads the letter.

Verizon and AT&T are ready to roll out their new C-Band 5G frequencies, and I don’t expect any more delays. It will be interesting to see exactly how flights are affected by the new frequencies over the next few weeks.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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