Satellite operators around the world have been seeking protection for their continued exclusive use of C-band frequencies. The threat to the bandwidth comes from broadband suppliers who want to use the frequencies for terrestrial services. The spectrum being fought over is within the 3.4-3.8 GHz range, and in many countries C-band (by satellite) is the dominant form of delivering TV signals.
A report in trade mag Space News suggests that Europe’s governments have already decided to permit telecom operators access to about half of the disputed C-band frequencies. The report says that the 48-member European Conference of Postal & Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT), which is the coordinating body for Europe’s telcos, has successfully lobbied for rights to exploit the frequencies. The decision will be endorsed at the upcoming ITU’s World Radiocommunications Conferences (WRC) scheduled in November.
Space News quotes Eric Fournier, chairman of CEPT’s Electronic Communications Committee, saying that satellite operators would lose access to the lower portion of the C-band spectrum, but might gain an extra 250 MHz of bandwidth in the Ku-band, although currently there was no common European agreement on the proposal. “We are still discussing this,” stated Fournier.
Satellite operators will be able to continue having exclusive access to the 3.8-4.2 GHz range, the ‘top’ end of the C-band frequencies.