The combat for using the 12 GHz band stays as sizzling as ever as spectrum licensees like Dish Community ponder its usefulness for 5G whereas SpaceX argues it’s already getting used for satellites.  

In response to SpaceX, the 12 GHz band has been a dramatic success story for the FCC. The band is utilized by SpaceX for its Starlink constellation, the place it’s invested a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}.

“The band is utilized by a number of licensees throughout a number of providers,” SpaceX informed the fee in a November 6 filing (PDF).

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However Dish says SpaceX “mischaracterizes” the character of its personal authorization within the band. One large factor that SpaceX is ignoring, based on Dish, is SpaceX’s potential to make use of the band was predicated on the end result of any future 12 GHz rulemaking the fee may start.

Dish and different Multichannel Video and Information Distribution Service (MVDDS) licensees petitioned the FCC in 2016 to open a Discover of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and take into account new guidelines for the band to make it extra 5G pleasant. 

The 12 GHz band presents 500 megahertz of contiguous spectrum that, they’ve instructed, might go a protracted technique to fulfilling the necessity for mid-band 5G spectrum within the U.S.

“Similar to SpaceX and OneWeb, each different Ku-band authorization is conditioned on the end result of the 12 GHz petition,” Dish informed the fee in a November 12 filing (PDF). “SpaceX’s modification grants are additionally conditioned on guidelines and insurance policies the Fee might undertake sooner or later. The implication of SpaceX’s place – particularly, that’s has superior 12 GHz rights relative to terrestrial operators in comparison with OneWeb – is due to this fact illogical and unwarranted.”

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In a filing last week (PDF), SpaceX blasted the logic of Dish and others within the continuing, saying their reasoning would all however invalidate any certainty offered by the fee’s licensing authority. 

“Below Dish’s instructed commonplace, if any get together filed a petition for rulemaking to allow new operations in any spectrum band, for instance AWS-4, the Fee could be obligated to provoke a rulemaking in response,” SpaceX wrote. “In actual fact, beneath Dish’s logic, opposition to the petition would solely ‘elevate new questions’ that strengthen the case for fast Fee motion, which means present licensees similar to Dish might solely construct out their networks at their very own danger. Clearly, such an ordinary would destabilize the regulatory certainty companies require to speculate the billions of {dollars} wanted to deploy new networks. In the end, the shoppers of those networks, similar to those who at present depend on SpaceX’s community, could be left behind.”

Nevertheless, based on RS Entry, which is one other MVDDS licensee, SpaceX and different satellite tv for pc firms have identified full effectively that their use of the band might be affected by the end result of the MVDDS Coalition’s petition for rulemaking, and they need to have deliberate accordingly.

RS Entry says it’s clear that the FCC warned SpaceX that its entry to the 12 GHz band, and solely this band, is conditioned on the end result of a pending petition and potential NPRM.  

“The report is evident, and the tried obfuscation should finish: SpaceX’s authorization to function within the 12 GHz band is topic to particularly documented circumstances associated to the pending petition and the specific contemplation of an NPRM,” RS Entry wrote. “The Fee has knowledgeable SpaceX and all different Ku-band NGSO FSS authorization holders that their grants of authority would stay conditioned on the end result of pending rulemaking proceedings and particularly cited the MVDDS 5G Coalition’s 2016 petition for an NPRM to contemplate modernizing the 12 GHz band.”

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Democrats have referred to as on Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to pause any controversial exercise through the presidential transition interval. The fee’s subsequent open assembly is November 18, and a 12 GHz merchandise is just not on the agenda. Two extra open fee conferences are scheduled for December 10, 2020, and January 13, 2021, earlier than the inauguration on January 20, 2021.