AT&T, Verizon to delay C-Band spectrum use pending air safety review

AT&T and Verizon Communications agreed to delay by a month the launch of C-band wireless service pending an assessment of any impact on aviation safety technologies.
ZTE 5G base station in ChinaVerizon and AT&T will coordinate to ensure that the United States keeps pace with the rest of the world in deploying next-generation communications technologies safely and without undue delay, said Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission in a joint statement.

AT&T and Verizon Communications were planning to use the C-band spectrum on Dec. 5 and have agreed to delay it until early January.

C-band spectrum

U.S. mobile operators purchased licenses in the C-band spectrum band (3.7 – 3.98 GHz) during Auction 107 earlier this year. The first tranche of C-band spectrum will be available for use by December 2021 in 46 markets and the second portion will be available by the end of 2023.

T-Mobile’s 5G experience highlights the importance for Verizon and AT&T to maximize their use of new mid-band spectrum, says the latest Opensignal report.

US carriers have spent a combined $81.11 billion in licenses to improve the 5G experience with this additional capacity.

Opensignal has observed an impressive rise in T-Mobile users’ 5G download speed enabled by existing mid-band spectrum. T-Mobile 5G users saw their average 5G download speeds soar by 66.5 percent, from 71.3 Mbps in Opensignal’s April 2021 5G Experience report to 118.7 Mbps in the latest report published in October 2021.

Carrier spent in the C-band auction: Verizon, $45.45 billion; AT&T, $23.41 billion; while T-Mobile spent significantly less at $9.34 billion.