The C-Band Alliance (CBA), in a batch of filings to the FCC, has broken down the costs of clearing transmissions as part of its workload for the final reallocations of bandwidth for 5G over the US.
It reminds the FCC that clearing spectrum for the 35,000 cable and IPTV operators across the US is a massively complex business because clearing activities are highly interdependent.
For example, the CBA says “a typical service move must follow a clear sequence with several parties needed to work in concert”.
The CBA highlights that an analysis is required for each site, with technical parameters agreed as well as full coordination with the uplink customer (and this is needed for both Space and Ground activity). Subsequently, the system has to ensure that the new antenna can access content at the target location. A temporary antenna might be needed during the dual illumination work, and dual illumination would be needed until the complete handover. Meanwhile, antennas will need to be re-pointed and this could include a frequency change, polarization change and/or satellite change.
“Clearing the spectrum is a highly orchestrated activity with many moving pieces and players. Coordinating it well is critical to meeting the targeted timelines. The CBA is best suited, due to a significant information advantage, to manage the entire clearing,” says the CBA in its filing to the FCC. Additionally, it adds that the CBA has done dramatically more than any other party to prepare for the transition of a portion of the C-band from satellite to 5G operations. Its efforts cannot be replicated.
“Even when only one service is being transitioned, issues are likely to arise at individual earth stations resulting from the earth station operator’s failure to repoint or retune the antenna or from errors in repointing or retuning. Errors in the original configuration established with the customer could also cause problems. These issues must be resolved quickly to ensure existing services are not harmed,” adds the CBA.
The CBA estimates that in order to clear 280 MHz of satellite spectrum around 60 per cent of the current video, audio and other C-band services will need to transition.