The battle over the 12 GHz band – one which some say may present much-needed mid-band spectrum for 5G within the U.S. – is heating up, together with amongst a gaggle of unlikely collaborators. 

In an FCC submitting this week, SpaceX disclosed that CEO Elon Musk was amongst these on a conference call (PDF) with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday that included dialogue of the 12 GHz band. Individually, SpaceX was a part of a gaggle of players (PDF) arguing in opposition to a proposal by Dish Community that may have the FCC take a better have a look at the principles for the 12 GHz band and probably make it usable for 5G.

Right here’s the place it will get stranger. The signatories to the letter opposing Dish’s proposal embody the aforementioned SpaceX, in addition to AT&T, OneWeb, SES, Intelsat and Kepler Communications.

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In one other world, apparently, SES and Intelsat have been at each other’s throats after they parted ways over the C-Band Alliance. However they share the idea that the Dish petition needs to be dismissed.

OneWeb is undergoing a Chapter 11 chapter reorganization; it was by no means a part of the C-Band Alliance however it’s making an attempt to compete in the identical house as a whole lot of different satellite tv for pc gamers to attach the largely unconnected.

OneWeb just lately told the commission (PDF) that efforts to introduce two-way terrestrial-based cell companies within the 12 GHz band would “unnecessarily jeopardize” the promise of satellite tv for pc techniques like OneWeb’s “on the exact second they’re poised to ship transformative connectivity to underserved communities and meaningfully contribute to closing the Digital Divide.”

AT&T additionally argues that two-way communications of the sort that Dish is speaking about introducing within the 12 GHz band poses an interference menace to its Direct Broadcast Satellite tv for pc (DBS) companies.

However earlier this 12 months, AT&T indicated it wasn’t precisely in SpaceX’s camp when it registered opposition to a SpaceX request to switch its software for its satellite tv for pc system; AT&T stated there must be a willpower by the ITU round compliance with energy limits designed to guard companies like AT&T’s DirecTV.

AT&T: Do 5G the ‘proper manner’ 

In its October 16 filing (PDF), AT&T stated it opposes efforts by the Dish-led MVDDS Coalition to hunt new license rights that, in its opinion, would hurt DBS clients. If Dish desires to “threat sabotaging its DBS service in pursuit of one other alternative, that’s after all its prerogative. Nevertheless, it’s not entitled to drive its opponents and fellow incumbents to do the identical,” AT&T wrote. Curiously, AT&T simply reported another quarter the place it misplaced DirecTV clients – and on the identical time, it certain may use some mid-band spectrum for 5G.

Dish, which gained a popularity over a few years as a spectrum hoarder, is now pursuing a 5G standalone community, and AT&T argues that what Dish and its coalition members are looking for quantities to a wholesale conversion of their spectrum with none requirement that they compete in opposition to different events in an public sale. 

AT&T additionally references Dish’s entanglement with the designated entity program, saying “the fee doesn’t take kindly to makes an attempt to realize multi-billion-dollar windfalls on the expense of American taxpayers, and there’s no clearer illustration than the final time Dish tried to achieve a multi-billion-dollar give-way. Then Commissioner Pai decried Dish’s effort ‘to tear off the American individuals to the tunes of billions of {dollars}.’ If Dish has its manner, it is going to occur once more.”  

RELATED: SpaceX accuses MVDDS operators of 12 GHz band ‘take-over’ attempt

In the meantime, Dish has been trying to get extra info from SpaceX to higher assess the danger of interference to DBS that SpaceX’s proposed system redesign might pose. SpaceX desires to switch its authorization to decrease the altitude of its proposed Starlink satellite tv for pc constellation, which can function in numerous spectrum bands, together with the 12.2-12.7 GHz band.

“All through the months of August and September … SpaceX dodged Dish’s info requests,” Dish told the commission (PDF), outlining a protracted collection of communications between Dish and SpaceX by means of September.

Dell weighs in 

A number of current feedback within the 12 GHz continuing again SpaceX’s plans, together with from (PDF) People for Tax Reform and Residents In opposition to Authorities Waste. Nevertheless, in Dish’s camp is Dell Applied sciences.

Whereas Dish controls licenses within the band protecting about 75% of the U.S. inhabitants, RS Entry holds about 15% of the MVDDS spectrum within the 12 GHz band. RS Entry is backed by MSD Capital, a personal funding agency managing the property of Dell founder Michael Dell and his household.

In accordance with FCC filings, Michael Dell has spoken with FCC Chairman Pai (PDF) and different commissioners, most just lately on file as of October 15, to speak about how next-generation telecom community infrastructure can higher put together the US for its digital future. The CEO urged the fee to proceed figuring out spectrum for 5G, together with within the 12.2-12.7 GHz band.

To listen to RS Entry tell it (PDF), the 12 GHz band represents an unbelievable alternative for the FCC to enhance carriers’ mid-band holdings within the U.S. for 5G. The spectrum is between 6 GHz and 24 GHz, contains 500 megahertz of nationwide contiguous spectrum, isn’t encumbered by navy or different federal customers, and provides the potential for 100 megahertz channels with “radically superior propagation” in contrast with greater frequency spectrum.

RELATED: Dish presses FCC to reject SpaceX plan for 12 GHz band

RS Entry additionally has identified that SpaceX has entry to greater than 15,000 megahertz of spectrum and the 12 GHz Band represents about 3% of that. In accordance with RS Entry, there’s no hurt in opening a Discover of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which begins a course of for the FCC to gather feedback and begin different methods to make use of the band.

“We very a lot sit up for a sturdy dialogue of the very best and highest use of this spectrum for advancing American 5G management,” RS Entry founder V. Noah Campbell advised Fierce this week.

There’s no phrase from the FCC on whether or not it is going to put the 12 GHz petition for an NPRM on an upcoming  agenda; the unique petition was filed years ago (PDF). This previous summer time, outgoing Republican Commissioner Michael O’Rielly stated he thinks it’s not unreasonable to have additional dialogue with relevant and events on the “a lot debated 12 GHz band.” At the time, he stated: “It will definitely appear applicable to discover the related points right here.”