CBA provides C-band plan details

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The C-Band Alliance (CBA) of Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat) has provided extremely detailed plans of its proposals to free up C-band spectrum over the US.

The Alliance, in its submission to the Federal Communications Commission on May 21st, says that it could release nine licence blocks of spectrum each of 20 MHz, which overall would total the 180 MHz on offer. Three of the segments would be available for use within 18 months of FCC approval.

The CBA says it wants to repurpose the spectrum through a “private auction process”. The CBA explains: “Pursuant to this plan, the repurposed C-band spectrum would be divided into nine license blocks, each 20 MHz in size, in each partial economic area (PEA) in the Continental United States that would be available for bidding by interested parties, followed by an FCC licensing process to obtain the specific spectrum blocks.”

“This approach would optimize the potential number of bidders in urban and rural areas, with nine blocks available in both large and small markets, says the CBA.  “From a potential bidder’s perspective, this structure is advantageous because it offers enhanced flexibility when deciding how and when to bid. A 9 x 20 band plan is also manageable from an auction process perspective—the blocks are neither so large as to discourage participation from bidders interested in smaller amounts of spectrum, nor so small as to create frustration for bidders interested in aggregating larger amounts of spectrum.”

The CBA stresses that it has worked with customers, end-users, manufacturers, potential 5G spectrum users and others to flesh out the many complex technical, operational, and logistical issues related to clearing and transitioning 200 MHz of C-band spectrum from satellite service to terrestrial 5G.


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