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Dish Network threatens LEO constellations

A battle is brewing between a consortium of 5G operators, led by Charlie Ergen’s Dish Network, and a growing number of speciality satellite operators including Jersey-based OneWeb and rocket company SpaceX.

The Dish consortium filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission on June 8th, asking the FCC to deny access to the satellite operators of 500 MHz of bandwidth.

SpaceX and Intelsat filed opposition points to the Dish grouping. Intelsat is an investor in the OneWeb constellation.

The Dish coalition says – perhaps surprisingly – that the LEO constellations have provided no credible evidence that they will be built! And, even if they are built, then there’s plenty of other spectrum around for them to use. Besides, the consortium adds, if permission is granted to the satellite constellations then this could harm the deployment of 5G technology.

SpaceX, in its counter filing, said simply that interest in LEO satellites is at an “all time high” and that the various operators are on the “precipice” of bringing revolutionary broadband access services to the market.

The coalition’s filing to the FCC asks that the regulator permit two-way 5G mobile networks access to the Ku-band spectrum between 12.2-12.7 GHz.

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