Advanced Television

WBU argues against C-band changes

July 2, 2018

Not so many years ago Intelsat and SES were arguing strongly for satellite’s C-band frequencies to be protected from would-be predators especially those in the cellular community.

Now, with the potential of millions (and some say billions) of dollars of benefits to flow to satellite operators from reassigning some C-band frequencies over the US for cellular use, the World Broadcasting Unions (WBU) has weighed in with strong implied criticism of the US plans.

Reallocation of these C-band signals could lead to “chaos” for its members, says the WBU.

The WBU states that it welcomes technological changes and the benefits to audiences and broadcasters. “Satellite services have long provided valuable broadcasting services and remain an essential part of often complex broadcast supply chains serving our audiences, both nationally and internationally, for public service and commercial broadcasters.” Said the WBU.

“C-Band FSS downlink frequencies between 3,400-4,200 MHz, have been and are extensively used throughout the world by WBU members for Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) applications and will continue to be used for the foreseeable future, in particular above 3,600 MHz. Since FSS downlink sites receive extremely weak signals from satellites in geosynchronous orbit, they are particularly fragile and susceptible to interference. WBU members have experienced serious interference to services where this spectrum has been opened up to other users and, because few countries require these receive-only downlink sites to be licensed or registered, little recourse is available. The WBU encourages our members to register their downlink sites.”

The WBU says there are hundreds of thousands of C-band downlink sites in use by its members for contribution and distribution of satellite signals. “The potential allocation of C-Band FSS spectrum to Mobile Services will create chaos to the economics of broadcasting by satellite, potentially interrupting services to audiences around the world. Furthermore, C-Band is critical for satellite services in tropical regions as it suffers less from the attenuation effects of heavy rainfall than higher frequency bands.”

“WBU members therefore call on satellite service providers and government regulators to protect the availability of the upper part of the C-Band spectrum, where the band has been allocated to satellite services and is currently used to provide many broadcasting services, enabling broadcasters around the world to continue to provide vital broadcasting services to billions of people across the world.”

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