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FCC may auction portion of satellite TV spectrum for 5G

U.S. FCC chairman Ajit Pai took to Twitter as we speak, outlining a plan to public sale a portion of the dear so-called “C band” frequencies for 5G use. There’s one potential hiccup: elements of that C-band spectrum are presently utilized by some satellite tv for pc service suppliers to ship media to ~120 million American subscribers, however Pai believes {that a} portion of the frequencies will be auctioned and repurposed to fulfill American thirst for information, whereas nonetheless preserving a strong chunk for satellite tv for pc programming.

The C band covers a variety of spectrum from roughly 3.7 to 4.2 GHz within the mid-band space, putting it within the comparatively worthwhile “sub-6” frequency class. Decrease frequencies are inclined to propagate higher, and whereas there’s loads of house within the greater, so-called “millimeter wave” microwave spectrum, it is these mid-band and decrease frequencies that can take advantage of substantial influence throughout the widest potential space. That makes this proposed public sale, which can open a complete new 225MHz chunk of frequencies for 5G use, form of an enormous deal, and a possible win for customers.

In line with Reuters, the affected satellite tv for pc service suppliers would like to be those making the sale, promoting spectrum from their current C-band licenses in particular person, non-public gross sales to US carriers, relatively than seeing the FCC open a public public sale. The present FCC proposal, as expressed, would protect the higher 200MHz of spectrum for his or her use, whereas opening up 280MHz for public sale.

Verizon expressed its personal help for the public sale in a press launch earlier as we speak, although it suggested haste, saying, “it’s important that the FCC transfer shortly to make C-Band spectrum out there for 5G… Any public sale ought to embrace applicable incentives and protections to make sure it may very well be put to make use of in brief order.” AT&T was a bit extra hesitant in its statements made final month, stating that though the brand new frequencies will probably be an vital near-term answer for 5G, care must be made to make sure that satellite tv for pc suppliers can proceed working service (since its Warner Media associates use it). T-Cell CTO Neville Ray expressed his personal approval relating to the proposed public sale on Twitter.

In a convention name earlier as we speak, FCC officers said that the public sale proposal will probably be introduced earlier than the fee for a vote early subsequent 12 months.

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Following the announcement, inventory for Intelsat SA (one of many affected satellite tv for pc telcos) has fallen 40% on the time of writing. Given their pre-existing licenses, there is a good likelihood that the affected satellite tv for pc suppliers could finally attempt to problem the FCC’s determination.

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