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Dish Pushes FCC to Open Satellite Airwaves for 5G Deployment

Sept. 10, 2021, 7:07 PM

Dish Network Corp. is urging the Federal Communications Commission to open some satellite airwaves to 5G services.

Dish representatives met with FCC officials Sept. 8 to argue that it’s possible for broadband providers to share airwaves in the 12 GHz spectrum band without an auction, according to an agency filing.

The FCC in January began soliciting comments on whether it could add new terrestrial phone service allocations to the 12 GHz band without harming the incumbent licensees, and if doing so would promote or hurt the delivery of 5G services.

In its Sept. 8 meetings, Dish officials made arguments included in an Aug. 29 agency filing in which it told the commission that sharing the band is “eminently possible” and does not require an auction.

The 12 GHz band today is largely reserved for satellite services. AT&T Inc., Space Exploration Technologies Corp., and others oppose opening up the band for more terrestrial broadband services. AT&T and SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Opponents argue that the two services can’t share the same spectrum if there is any potential for interference.

Dish, RKF Engineering Solutions, LLC, and RS Access LLC in May submitted a study to the FCC finding there is a “highly favorable coexistence environment” for the two services on the band and sharing the spectrum “is readily achievable.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Maria Curi at mcuri@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com

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