In the United States, the operator Dish is trying with RS Access to push the authorities to open the 12 GHz band to deliver faster 5G. A heresy according to SpaceX which affirms in a detailed counter report that its internet access by satellite risks being rendered “unusable” by the sharing of this frequency range.
In the United States, as in other countries of the world, Starlink delivers the downlink connection to the Internet via this frequency range. Range whose use by Starlink has been validated several years in advance by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). According to SpaceX, Dish’s 5G network will generate, if the sharing of the 12 GHz range is validated, “deleterious interference” 77% of the time.
SpaceX rails against the prospect of sharing the 12 GHz band
According to SpaceX, all this could lead to internet access “totally unavailable 74% of the time” in areas covered by Dish’s 5G network. Operator lobbying is seen as an existential threat to Starlink. However Dish prefers for his part to speak of a “win-win” sharing and wants to believe that “co-existence is possible”.
For now, Starlink is a constellation of 2,700 satellites in low orbit – but launches are continuing, and eventually the constellation could reach up to 42,000 satellites in orbit. More than 400,000 subscribers depend on Starlink for internet access, and the service hopes to connect the third of the world’s population not yet connected to the global network within the next few years.
Still, the quality of the current service delivered by Starlink is not always perfect and SpaceX fears that over-complicating the deal in terms of frequencies could make the situation worse. Just to drive home the point, SpaceX wrote to the FCC asking the agency to verify whether the Dish and RS Access reports are intentionally misleading.
Following the same methodology as its competitors, SpaceX says Dish and RS Access’s reports on sharing the 12GHz frequency contain “heinous errors” and “false assumptions.”
“Even taking into account these very favorable assumptions, the analysis clearly demonstrates that the launch of a mobile service in the 12 GHz band would cause interference with the services already allocated and that operating in this range will disrupt the next generation satellite service. delivered to Americans across the country”says SpaceX.
The problem with the 12 GHz band is that it would make it possible to double 5G speeds at a lower cost in countries that are difficult to equip like the United States. In France, however, the problem should not arise for the moment. The range between 11.7 GHz and 13.25 GHz is exclusively allocated to satellite operators.
As for 5G, the next horizon is the allocation of ranges in the 26 GHz band which will make it possible to deliver unprecedented 5G speeds in the city – after the installation of a dense network of mmWave antennas.