The cellular telephone industry is looking enviously at C-band frequencies for terrestrial use. A major international conference in Nigeria heard from Eutelsat’s CEO Michael de Rosen argue passionately that terrestrial operators should leave C-band exclusively for satellite transmission.
“Opening the C-band to mobile operators would not herald the expansion of its use for new services. It would mean the end of services, with no guarantee that new mobile services would actually be deployed using this band. It’s a lose-lose scenario and exactly the opposite of the intended goals,” he said. “Terrestrial operators already have access to a very broad range of spectrum and should be using this first before seeking to acquire more, particularly if this process is carried out at the expense of critical applications,” he added.
Michel de Rosen was speaking to delegates from African countries gathered in Nigeria for a meeting organised by the African Telecommunication Union (ATU) to prepare for the World Radiocommunication Conference scheduled to take place in Geneva later this year from 2 to 27 November 2015. During the meeting in Abuja, African states will define their position on access to the C-band that is currently allocated to satellite operators and claimed by mobile operators.
de Rosen reminded delegates that the C-band is widely used to provide vital services, including air traffic control, government and enterprise communications, disaster relief, broadcasting and Internet access. The use of C-band by mobile operators would mean the total loss of these critical services, with no possible alternatives.