CBA releases key data to FCC

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The C-Band Alliance (of Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat) has submitted the satellite usage data that the FCC requested in April. The filings give the FCC complete insight into the usage of C-band over the US by the different satellite operators; a large part of the data is treated confidentially.

The data shows a snapshot of a single month’s usage in March 2019. The data also represents the contracted capacity of numerous satellites, including some that do not cover, or cover only a portion of, the continental US.

The Alliance says that determination of how much C-band downlink spectrum can be repurposed for terrestrial 5G service, while ensuring service continuity to existing customers, is complicated. It involves an assessment of how much spectrum is needed to maintain the nation’s radio and television ecosystem and the timeframe for a quick transition to meet 5G policy goals.

Nevertheless, the study has confirmed that Alliance’s firm opinion that no client need to disadvantaged by the C-band moves.

The CBA members assessed multiple technical and commercial factors, such as:

·     the current and future satellite capacity needs of the incumbent C-band users, based on contract terms and comprehensive discussions with customers

·     the need to protect satellite services from terrestrial mobile 5G interference, including the necessary technical rules and filter performances

·     the need of broadcasters and cable companies to rely on satellite coverage patterns over the entire continental US, not only part of it.

In a statement, the CBA says it has conducted these assessments and concluded that 200 MHz of C-band can be cleared for terrestrial mobile use within 18-36 months of a final FCC order while protecting existing services. “This amount is possible by the CBA working with thousands of earth stations to ensure the quality of reception that nearly 120 million households enjoy today and by building eight new satellites on an accelerated schedule to enable service continuity in the reconfigured satellite spectrum.”


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