Connect with us

Spectrum

Companies Clash Over Spectrum Sharing in 12 GHz Spectrum Band

Satellite service provider Dish, which is open to 12 GHz for mobile, recently signed a network sharing deal with AT&T.

Published

on

July 19, 2021—While some experts believe that the 12 GHz spectrum band is a natural space for 5G to expand into, others remain unconvinced that doing so would not interrupt incumbent usage.

Broadband Breakfast convened a panel of experts on July 14 as part of its Broadband Breakfast Live Online event on “Spectrum for 5G, LEOs and the Future of the 12 GigaHertz (GHz) Band.”

Though the 12 GHz band has been used up to this point for low-earth orbit satellite networks, there has recently been debate over converting some of the band for terrestrial mobile use—a move that has frustrated some incumbents who assert that terrestrial mobile use would interfere with satellite services.

Eric Graham, the director of government and regulatory engagement for satellite provider OneWeb, described the effort to expand usage of the 12 GHz band as uncertain at best, arguing that new mobile devices operating in the band would create harmful and unpredictable interference.

“We use a very low level of power in the [non-geostationary-satellite orbit, fixed-satellite service] world,” Graham explained. “By the time the satellite signal reaches Earth from 1,200 kilometers away, that signal is very weak, and a terrestrial mobile device—your smartphone or other device—will wipe out that signal to the user terminal.”

According to Graham, there was a consensus at the conclusion of the reply comment round on this issue at the FCC. “Everyone had agreed that it was impossible for terrestrial mobile to coexist with the incumbents.” He stated that it has only been within the last year that proponents of expanding access to the band “found a way to create a study that purports to support coexistence.”

The argument for flexible use

Not everyone was convinced of Graham’s position, however. Co-founder and CEO of RS Access Noah Campbell argued that coexistence is not only possible but is vital to 5G deployment in the U.S. RS Access penned the first technical feasibility study that they argue proves that the 12 GHz band could host both mobile terrestrial devices and satellite services.

Cambell pointed out that the 12 GHz band is unique because it represents a significant swath of spectrum (500 MHz), despite only being licensed for one way service.

“In the context of 2021’s technology landscape that is absolutely insane,” he said. “[The FCC] would never license a frequency that way ever again. So, these are antiquated rules that really do not make sense from a technology standpoint, and do not make sense from a usage standpoint.”

Jeffrey Blum shared Cambell’s assessment of the 12 GHz. As the executive vice president for external and legislative affairs for Dish Network, Blum indicated Dish’s willingness to work with incumbents in the band.

“We do not want to fight, we want to share,” he said. Dish itself is a 12 GHz incumbent and has been operating satellites in the band since 1995 for over eight-million subscribers.

“We would not want to do anything at all to jeopardize our eight-million subscribers. We are confident that [[non-geostationary-satellite orbit, direct broadcast satellite], and mobile terrestrial uses can coexist.”

In fact, on the day of the live event, Dish announced a 10-year, $5-billion network sharing deal with AT&T to bolster its fledgling 5G network, according to a regulatory filing.

The deal would see AT&T provide support for Dish’s Boost Mobile by providing it with voice and messaging services. To do this, AT&T would be able to use bands of spectrum to which Dish holds licenses—both for their own use and Boost Mobile’s.

If the rules are successfully changed by the FCC, this would include the 12 GHz band.

Dish was able to obtain mobile wireless assets as part of a regulatory deal to approve the T-Mobile-Sprint merger that was completed last year.

In June, Dish announced a deal with Dell Technologies to launch the 5G network based on open radio access network and cloud technologies. Dish began accepting sign-ups for its 5G network that month.

Blum also struck back against the press’s title of the “Battle of the Billionaires.” He stated that DISH does not view the situation that way, and that this effort should only be viewed as a method to update outdated rules.

He pointed to all the technological advancements that have been made since the rules were originally established and, coupled with the need for the U.S. to lead 5G deployment, “the importance of 5G and 5G leadership to our country is essential,” Blum said.

The FCC still must make a decision regarding the 12 GHz band. Though Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has historically been supportive of spectrum sharing initiatives, she has not yet publicly indicated whether she would support such an initiative in the 12 GHz band.

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place every Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can watch the July 14, 2021, event on this page. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 12 Noon ET — “Spectrum for 5G, Low-Earth Orbit Satellites and Sharing the 12 GigaHertz (GHz) Band”

The 12 GigaHertz (GHz) band of radio frequency spectrum has emerged as a flashpoint in the debate over 5G services versus satellite technologies. Proponents of spectrum sharing believe now is the time to open up the 12 GHz band for more intensive broadband uses. But some satellite services are very much opposed. And the Federal Communications Commission is currently considering the arguments. Come to the July 14 session of Broadband Breakfast for a roundtable discussion on the future of the 12 GHz band.

See “Satellite Operators and Broadband Entrants Vie for Primacy as FCC Debates the 12 GigaHertz Band

Panelists:

  • Eric Graham, Director of Government and Regulatory Engagement for North America, OneWeb
  • V. Noah Campbell, Co-founder and CEO, RS Access, LLC
  • Jeffrey Blum, Executive Vice President, External and Legislative Affairs, DISH
  • Other panelists have been invited
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher of Broadband Breakfast

Eric Graham joined OneWeb in 2019 and is the Director of Government and Regulatory Engagement for North America, with a focus primarily on the United States and Canada. Prior to joining OneWeb, Eric spent 12 years in the terrestrial telecommunications industry (wireless and fiber) as Senior Vice President for Strategic Relations with C Spire. He has appeared as a witness before several committees of the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives, participated in numerous Federal Communications Commission panels and working groups, and has been a delegate at meetings of various international standard setting groups around the world.

V. Noah Campbell founded RS Access in 2018 to acquire spectrum in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band in the United States and to operate wireless networks serving a wide variety of constituents throughout our markets, which comprise approximately 15% of the US population. RS Access’ service is designed to ensure that customers can affordably acquire MVDDS point-to-multipoint connections to augment existing network architectures. Campbell, a wireless industry entrepreneur, also founded Radio Spectrum Group, LLC and MSD Capital, L.P.

Jeff Blum serves as DISH’s Executive Vice President, External & Legislative Affairs, overseeing public policy, regulatory and government affairs in Washington, D.C. He has been with DISH since 2005. Before coming to DISH, Jeff was a partner at the Los Angeles firm of Davis Wright Tremaine, where his practice focused on copyright, First Amendment and anti-piracy litigation. He currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) as well as serving on the boards of INCOMPAS, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG).

Drew Clark, Editor and Publisher of Broadband Breakfast, also serves as Of Counsel to The CommLaw Group. He has helped fiber-based and fixed wireless providers negotiate telecom leases and fiber IRUs, litigate to operate in the public right of way, and argue regulatory classifications before federal and state authorities. In addition to representing public and private providers on broadband issues, Drew is actively involved in issues surrounding interconnected Voice-over-Internet-Protocol service, spectrum licenses, robocalling including STIR/SHAKEN, and the provision of video franchises and “over-the-top” copyrighted content.

Panelist resources:

WATCH HERE, or on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

As with all Broadband Breakfast Live Online events, the FREE webcasts will take place at 12 Noon ET on Wednesday.

SUBSCRIBE to the Broadband Breakfast YouTube channel. That way, you will be notified when events go live. Watch on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

See a complete list of upcoming and past Broadband Breakfast Live Online events.

Reporter Ben Kahn is a graduate of University of Baltimore and the National Journalism Center. His work has appeared in Washington Jewish Week and The Center Square, among other publications. He he covered almost every beat at Broadband Breakfast.

Spectrum

Interference Concerns with FCC Raised Over Wi-Fi in 6 GigaHertz Band

Southern Linc raised concerns about potential interference issues with the agency’s opening the band for unlicensed use.

Published

on

Illustration by Jose Ruiz from PC Mag

WASHINGTON, November 30, 2022 – Wireless service provider Southern Linc raised concerns with the Federal Communications Commission on November 9 about potential interference issues with the agency’s opening of the 6 GigaHertz (GHz) band for unlicensed use.

The concerns, laid out in a post-meeting letter to the FCC, explained that the agency’s decision to open up the band traditionally used by services including broadcasting to unlicensed use was based on measurements taken in 2018. Since then, wireless data points have multiplied, rendering these measurements outdated and unreflective of the current Wi-Fi environment, Southern Linc representatives argued.

Southern Linc urged the collection of data on current Wi-Fi operations to successfully develop and implement automated frequency coordination systems. A thoroughly tested automatic frequency control system could provide for effective shared use of the 6 GHz band and reduce harmful interference, the company said.

Earlier this month, the FCC approved the testing of 13 proposed automated frequency coordination database systems from various technology companies to ensure interference issues are limited. During testing, each company will make the automated frequency coordination system available for a specific period for the public to test the system’s functionality.

Southern Linc also recommended a proposal made by trade associations to engage in next-generation Wi-Fi, dubbed “6E” for its capability to use the 6 GHz band. To date, the University of Michigan has a campus-wide Wi-Fi 6E system, the largest currently operating network of unlicensed 6 GHz devices.

In April 2020, the FCC adopted its 6 GHz Order, freeing up 1,200 megahertz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band (from 5.925–7.125 GHz) for unlicensed use, including for Wi-Fi connectivity. The order, supported unanimously by the FCC commissioners, was expected to improve Wi-Fi reliability and speed.

A few months later, in response to a challenge from AT&T, the D.C. Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the FCC order stating that the “petitioners have failed to provide a basis for questioning the commission’s conclusion that the order will protect against a significant risk of harmful interference.”

In December 2021, the National Spectrum Management Association echoed concerns about harmful interference, alleging the FCC decision was made without proper testing.

Continue Reading

Spectrum

Interagency Spectrum Agreement Already Paying Off, Officials Say

The August agreement has improved the agencies’ capacity for long-term planning, said an NTIA official.

Published

on

Photo of Derek Khlopin, the NTIA’s deputy associate administrator of spectrum planning and policy

November 21, 2022 – The updated memorandum of understanding on spectrum coordination between the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration is already greasing the wheels of federal spectrum policy, said officials from both agencies during a webinar Monday.

Freeing up spectrum for commercial use will drive 5G technology and the attendant economic benefits and has become a favorite cause of many in Washington. The agencies agreed to the updated memorandum in August, at which time FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel called for a “whole-of-government” approach to spectrum policy.

The August agreement has improved the agencies’ capacity for long-term planning, said Derek Khlopin, the NTIA’s deputy associate administrator of spectrum planning and policy.

And although the memorandum is young, “it’s starting to have a meaningful impact and will continue to,” Khlopin said. He added that his agency is considering methods to concretely track the memorandum’s effectiveness going forward. Khlopin also suggested that the memorandum will demystify the NTIA’s spectrum-related activities for other federal agencies, to the benefit of all.

“I think [the memorandum] reestablished expectations and focused on the sharing of information between the agencies and on long-range planning,” agreed Joel Taubenblatt, acting bureau chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau at the FCC.

The FCC administers spectrum for non-federal uses, the NTIA for federal uses. Federal spectrum managers must weigh the needs of federal agencies – e.g., spectrum used for national security purposes – with the interests of private actors. One way of making more spectrum available is to convince federal agencies to give up their allotments. 

In October, Scott Harris, senior spectrum advisor at the NTIA, said his agency will develop a “spectrum strategy” that will heavily rely on public consultation. Khlopin on Monday echoed Harris, saying that the public’s input is critical.

The FCC announced the winners of the 2.5 GigaHertz (GHz) spectrum auction in September and adopted a notice seeking comment on the 12.7–13.25 GHz band last month. Last week, Commissioner Brendan Carr called on his colleagues to make still more spectrum available.

Continue Reading

Spectrum

Carr Advocates Release of More Spectrum as Deadline to Extend FCC Auction Authority Looms

Allowing the FCC’s authority to auction spectrum to expire would be “unacceptable,” Carr said.

Published

on

Photo of FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr

WASHINGTON, November 15, 2022 – Commissioner Brendan Carr of the Federal Communications Commission on Monday advocated making available more spectrum for commercial use and urged the extension of the commission’s auction authority that expires next month.  

“We’ve got to make…a great spectrum comeback,” Carr argued during a “fireside chat” hosted by the R Street Institute. “We’ve got to start matching that same pace and cadence that we saw [during Ajit Pai’s term as FCC chairman from 2017 to 2021].” Carr is, like Pai, a Republican.

Carr spoke highly of Pai’s record of acting on several spectrum bands, which includes the auction of 280 megahertz in the C-band – from 3.7–3.98 GigaHertz. Carr called the C-band, “the big kahuna.”

Since the FCC is an independent agency, largely driven by technical considerations, Congress was prudent to vest it with its spectrum authority, Carr argued. But that authority expires on December 16, after a continuing resolution signed by President Joe Biden extended the FCC’s ability to deliver on spectrum policies beyond the original September 30 deadline.

Such an expiration would be “unacceptable,” Carr said. “We have never had a lapse in this auction authority,” he added. “We need to continue to signal to the world and to our private sector that we know what we’re doing, we’re competent here, you can rely on a consistent pipeline of U.S. spectrum.”

In July, the House of Representatives passed the Spectrum Innovation Act, which would vest the commission with auction authority until March 2024.

Carr also praised the efforts of his colleague, Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. The FCC in October sought comment on the 12.7 GHz–13.25 GHz band, following the agency’s August announcement of the winners of the 2.5 GHz auction.

Congress can also act to free up spectrum now held by federal agencies that would be more productive if available to the marketplace, said Joe Kane, director of broadband and spectrum policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, on a panel following Carr’s remarks.

“Most of the spectrum, whether it’s for licensed or unlicensed, nowadays is going to have to come from federal agencies, and federal agencies are loath to give up the spectrum that they have,” Kane said.

In October, a senior spectrum advisor at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the entity that administers spectrum used by the federal government, said his agency will develop a “spectrum strategy,” the primary goal of which will be to make available more spectrum.

Continue Reading

Signup for Broadband Breakfast

Get twice-weekly Breakfast Media news alerts.
* = required field

Broadband Breakfast Research Partner

Trending