Monday, October 1, 2018

Satellite companies form C-Band Alliance to advance U.S. mid-band spectrum for 5G

A new C-Band Alliance has been formed by leading satellite companies, including Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat, and Telesat with a goal of making mid‐band spectrum available for 5G services in the United States.


The CBA will act as a facilitator, as described in a recent FCC proceeding featuring the companies’ market-based proposal to clear a portion of C-band spectrum in the United States.

The market-based proposal, which was approved by the FCC in July 2018, aims to protect the quality and reliability of the extensive services provided by satellite operators in the C-band spectrum to U.S. broadcasters, media, and data companies. The proposal establishes a commercial and technical framework that would enable terrestrial mobile operators to quickly access spectrum in a portion of the 3,700 to 4,200 MHz frequency band in the U.S., speeding the deployment of next-generation 5G services.

The CBA will undertake the technical and commercial implementation of the spectrum clearing process.

The CBA will be led by Bill Tolpegin, currently CEO of OTA Broadcasting, who will serve as Chief Executive Officer of CBA. Media sector veteran Preston Padden will serve as Head of Advocacy and Government Relations.


FCC looks to open 3.7 and 4.2 GHz for 5G

The Federal Communications Commission has identified up to 500 megahertz of mid-band spectrum between 3.7 and 4.2 GHz that could be open for 5G wireless services.

A newly adopted FCC order sets forth several steps toward making more mid-band spectrum available for terrestrial fixed and mobile broadband use.  Specifically, the Order will require Fixed Satellite Service earth stations operating in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band to certify the accuracy of existing registration and license information and will collect additional information from space station licensees on their operations in the band to assist the Commission and commenters in developing a clearer understanding of how the band is currently being used.  The Commission will then use this information to evaluate the most efficient way to drive the deployment of mid-band spectrum for mobile services and more intensive fixed services.

The FCC said its Notice also proposes to add a mobile (except aeronautical mobile) allocation to all 500 megahertz in the band and seeks comment on various proposals for transitioning part or all of the band for flexible use, working up from 3.7 GHz, including market-based, auction, and alternative mechanisms.  The Notice also seeks comment on allowing more intensive point-to-multipoint fixed use in some portion of the band, on a shared basis, working down from 4.2 GHz and on how to define and protect incumbent users from harmful interference, and it seeks comment on service and technical rules that would enable efficient and intensive use by any new services in the band.

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