April 18, 2021

Industry Experts argue over whether satellite tech should monopolize 12 GHz Band

Experts have different opinions regarding how the 12 GHz spectrum is to use in the historic C band auction, which would be utilized in satellite technologies. Experts from the largest wireless providers were in an argument during a live exchange on March 4th, where they were part of the panel invited by the Federal Communications Bar Association. The only thing that the team agreed on is that the 12 GHz band is an invaluable resource. However, for most of the other issues, they were divided and gave different opinions.

The key issue under discussion is whether satellite technologies in low-earth orbit need the 12GHz band or whether it is okay to share the frequencies. Noah Campbell, CEO of RS Access, LLC, spoke of the issue claiming that companies like SpaceX and Amazon that use non-geostationary satellites that come close to the earth’s surface have a critical role bridge the digital divide.

Noah also pointed out that other services, including video and mobile, need access to the 12 GHz, and it would be unfair to deny them the opportunities. Besides, Campbell claims that satellite services can easily find spectrum in other bands for their services. Ruth Pritchard Kelly, the WorldVu satellites, Limited senior advisor, quickly responded to Noah, asking him if he is working with assumptions or facts. Ruth enquired if Noah has worked on a satellite, where he answered that he hasn’t, but engineers in his firm have.

In her argument, Ruth explained that satellites in orbit couldn’t switch from one frequency to another. She stated that some of the orbit satellites have a timeline of a decade and switching bands is almost impossible. Besides, Kelly claims that not all the Ku band is used; for instance, her company uses 500 MHz, which is licensed to operate.

Campbell stated that Ruth seemed worked up with the issue and responded that she has a paycheck to be worked up with the matter. From her understanding, Kelly talked about finding and securing bandwidth, an ongoing issue, and hopes that engineers can come up with something to favor all. Ruth states that sharing is possible, but this happens if engineers can find a way to make that happen without compromising mobility.

Before the live talk came to an end, Noah stated that he would be grateful if there is coordination between the two firms to solve this issue in a way all will benefit. He also asked Ruth to have some of their engi
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