Members of the C-Band Alliance have stipulated that they will only buy U.S.-built satellites to replace any capacity lost through the transfer of some C-band spectrum to cellular operators for 5G, a move that could position their plan more favorably with the White House and Congress.
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Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) wrote to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai saying the agency “must consider whether sufficient spectrum will remain available to accommodate today's C-band services,” among other issues.
Members of the C-Band Alliance on Oct. 22 increased the amount of spectrum they are willing to part with in the United States, aligning their plan more closely with that of the Federal Communications Commission as a deadline for input looms.
Three regional satellite operators with C-band coverage over the United States have complained to U.S. telecom regulators about being left out of a group led by four of the world’s largest satellite operators to arrange a proposed spectrum transfer to the wireless industry.
Intelsat says some satellite operators will be forced to buy new spacecraft if U.S. telecom regulators demand the transfer of 200 or more megahertz of C-band spectrum from satellite operators to cellular companies.
Satellite fleet operator SES of Luxembourg lowered its revenue forecast for its television broadcast market July 27 while forecasting stable growth of data services.
Every three to four years, spectrum regulators convene to set rules on the use of the world’s limited radio frequency resources at an event known as the World Radiocommunication Conference. Next year the United States’ recently formed National Space Council will attend to defend the interest of American satellite companies and influence changes in international space policy.
Satellite operators in Asia say the debate over C-band in the United States is triggering similar discussions in their markets, causing concern that cellular operators could end up in control of the spectrum in other parts of the world.
Fleet operators SES and Intelsat asked the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to extend the deadline for their customers to register C-band dishes before the commission decides on the band’s future use.
As the Federal Communications Commission nears a decision on the use of C-band satellite spectrum, it and several other U.S. agencies are weighing a broader strategy for the nation’s spectrum.
Fleet operator Telesat, originally undecided about a joint-use spectrum plan put forward by Intelsat, Intel and SES, is turning against the plan because of how participants would be compensated.
Telesat CEO Dan Goldberg said his company has refrained from running headlong with other fleet operators in adding new telecom satellites over areas now burdened by an oversupply of capacity.
Satellite fleet operator SES has agreed to join Intelsat on an amended proposal to let 5G networks use some of the satellite industry’s coveted C-band spectrum for next-generation cellular systems in the United States.