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AT&T, Verizon comply to FAA demands to limit 5G rollout

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Following the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) examination into whether the C-band spectrum for 5G rollout jeopardizes aircrafts’ safety, AT&T Verizon extended Wednesday their offer to reform power from their fifth-generation cell towers for the upcoming six months.

Both U.S.-based telcos structured a plan to launch vital improvements to their 5G networks operating C-band spectrum obtained in an auction. These upgrades will deliver higher 5G connections and faster speeds in comparison to the base-level 5G rollout offers that both operators currently deliver.

“While we remain confident that 5G poses no risk to air safety, we are also sensitive to the Federal Aviation Administration’s desire for additional analysis of this issue,” both telcos said in a joint letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Earlier in November, both service providers agreed to postpone their C-band spectrum deployment till the end of January of 2022, after FAA expressed worry regarding wireless technology potentially interfering with altimeter equipment, jeopardizing the safety systems of some aircraft, according to The Wall Street Journal.

An altimeter is a device that measures altitude, the distance of a point above sea level. They are considered a fundamental tool for aircraft and spacecraft pilots as it monitors the aircraft’s height above the Earth’s surface, particularly when the weather affects visibility conditions for pilots.

From their part, both AT&T and Verizon submitted years of research regarding probable interference rate and added that mid-band 5G networks have never caused any damage for flights in other countries that have already deployed mid-band 5G.

Despite submitting the needed research to support their stance, both companies submitted to the FAA’s demands to “allay concerns about radio altimeter performance,” while sustaining fight performance for their users.

The Communications Commission has already informed pilots of the potential risks of “interference from 5G transmitters and other technology could cause certain safety equipment to malfunction, requiring them to take mitigating action that could affect flight operations.”

It is unclear whether the FAA will take into consideration the companies’ proposals. However, if the Commission accepts the carriers’ offer, the extended limit will be applicable till July 6th, after initially planning to roll out their C-band spectrum on December 5th.

After the set July 6th deadline, both AT&T Verizon will resume regular operations only if the FAA delivers fails to deliver inclusive evidence that their C-band spectrum would interfere with the aircraft safety systems. 

“Our use of this spectrum will dramatically expand the reach and capabilities of the nation’s next-generation 5G networks, advancing U.S. leadership, and bringing enormous benefits to consumers and the U.S. economy,” the telcos informed FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel in their letter.

Both carriers’ operations are supported by dense financial inducement to stay clear from any additional setbacks to their spectrum rollout. Verizon and AT&T spent an estimate of $68.8 billion to assure obtaining the required licenses for their mid-level band construction, with an extra $15 billion on infrastructure that would make use of the C-band spectrum.

Daryn is a technical writer with thorough history and experience in both academic and digital writing fields.

5G

U.S. FAA approves 90% of planes for low-visibility landings near 5G airports

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The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday issued approvals for additional altimeters that allow about 90% of the U.S. commercial aviation fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports where 5G wireless is deployed.

The FAA said it had cleared seven additional altimeters, bringing the total approved to 20. As of last week, it had cleared about 78% of commercial planes.

AT&T and Verizon Communications agreed on Jan. 18 to delay switching on new telecom towers near key airports even as they turned on the new 5G C-Band service.

Radio altimeters are used to give data on height above ground for bad-weather landings and the 5G technology could cause interference.

The issue is disrupting some landing in poor weather at smaller airports. Alaska Air said Monday the “rollout of this new 5G band is still creating disruptions for regional air travel.”

Verizon agreed to temporarily not turn on about 500 towers near airports, sources told Reuters, or less than 10% of their planned deployment, while the carriers and the administration work on a permanent solution.

Some U.S. airlines are concerned about Verizon’s plans to turn on additional towers around Feb. 1 and want to know if those new towers could impact any current operations. Verizon did not immediately comment.

Separately, the FAA on Tuesday published an airworthiness directive on the Boeing 777 and 747-8 airplanes that interference may affect multiple airplane systems using radio altimeter data. The directive does not prevent any operations at nearly all large U.S. airports. The FAA has approved alternative means of compliance for the airplanes.

Airplane models with cleared altimeters include all Boeing 717, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787 MD-10/-11; Airbus A300, A310, A319, A220, A320, A321, A330, A340, A350, A380; Embraer 120, 170, and 190 regional jets; All CL-600/CRJ regional jets; DHC-8 and ATR turboprops.

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Telstra deploys Ericsson Private 5G for AgriFood Connect

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Telstra and Ericsson announced their first deployment of Ericsson Private 5G, an on-premises devoted 5G network for an enterprise that uses a single-server 5G dual-mode core.   

The Australian not-for-profit organization, Telstra Enterprise customer AgriFood Connect, will receive this technology.  

Ericsson said in a press release that “within this product, Telstra and AgriFood Connect have successfully deployed industrial IoT capabilities over 5G standalone that can support a variety of business requirements such as asset condition monitoring and the collection of data from machinery. These sorts of capabilities will enable features such as predictive maintenance alerts that will drive cost savings against unplanned downtime and repairs.”  

Telstra Network and Infrastructure executive Iskra Nikolova noted that “the combination of a dedicated network in partnership with Telstra’s existing Network capabilities can facilitate the implementation of a whole variety of new and emerging technologies.”  

“Challenging locations in regional Australia, where there is comparatively limited backhaul capacity, will greatly benefit from this technology. For example, a remote farming or a manufacturing business could embrace the latest advancements in video analytics and IoT connectivity, almost regardless of their location, with the data processed on-site,” he added.  

In addition, the private 5G product allowed AgriFood Connect to make use of industrial IoT capabilities over 5G Standalone, such as asset condition monitoring and the collection of data from machinery.  

“This world’s first deployment in partnership with Telstra represents an important step towards automation and control through intelligent 5G connectivity,” said Emilio Romeo, head of Ericsson, Australia, and New Zealand.  

“The Ericsson Private 5G platform will enable emerging industrial use cases across multiple verticals such as Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), AI, Automation, drone technology, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, and many more innovative 5G use cases made available through Ericsson’s robust Industry 4.0 partner ecosystem.”  

Therefore, the 5G SA capability offered by Ericsson Private 5G product, tied with Telstra’s advanced network capabilities, delivers an industrial wireless connectivity platform for the enterprise that can provide low latency, enhanced resiliency, and the capacity to meet even the most demanding business operation requirements.  

It is worth mentioning that Telstra and Ericsson recently declared a new 5G upload speed milestone, achieving an upload peak rate of 986 Mbps in a live 5G demo at the carrier’s 5G Innovation Centre in Queensland, Australia.  

The presentation also used Ericsson’s New Radio-Dual Connectivity (NR-DC) and carrier aggregation software features together and a smartphone form-factor test device powered by Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System. 

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Ericsson profit beats as more countries roll out 5G

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Sweden’s Ericsson on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter core earnings above market estimates, helped by higher sales of telecom gear as more countries roll out 5G networks offsetting a loss of market share in mainland China.

The company’s quarterly adjusted operating earnings rose to 11.9 billion Swedish crowns ($1.28 billion) from 11 billion a year ago, beating the mean forecast of 10.30 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Total revenue rose 2% to 71.3 billion crowns, beating estimates of 68.33 billion crowns. Sales in mainland China declined by 1.8 billion crowns, meaning that excluding mainland China organic sales growth was 5%.

A resurgent Nokia increasing competition in several markets and the loss of telecom contracts in China following a ban of Huawei by the Swedish government had been dragging down Ericsson’s revenue.

The proportion of revenue Ericsson earns from China has dropped to around 3%, the company has previously said, from 10-11% before the domestic Swedish ban on Huawei.

Sales at Ericsson’s networks unit grew by 3% and gross margin rose to 46.4% from 43.5%.

In an effort to broaden its 5G portfolio Ericsson has spent more than $7 billion to buy two companies – cloud communications firm Vonage and wireless network gear maker Cradlepoint.

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