Advanced Television

SpaceX makes plea for spectrum efficiency

December 15, 2020

By Chris Forrester

SpaceX’s Starlink broadband-by-satellite system is calling for regulators not to license rival broadband would-be operators who do not recognise frequency sharing.

David Goldman, director of satellite & spectrum policy at SpaceX, quoted by Space Intel Report, was speaking to delegates on a panel discussion organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and Saudi Arabia’s Communications & Information Technology Commission.

SpaceX is facing potential problems because it shares its 12 GHz spectrum notably with the Jeff Bezos-backed Project Kuiper which is also planning a mega-constellation of satellites for broadband users.

Goldman explained that because Starlink was going to have to share its spectrum it was essential to be efficient. He said that sharing spectrum meant that country regulators needed to recognise that operators must be “smart” as to how they licensed operators in the future.

Goldman said the challenge for SpaceX was first in getting the satellites into orbit and then being authorised by country regulators. Its equipment has to be authorised on a country-by-country basis. Then, ground station gateways have to be established and connected into the world’s fibre and internet backbone. He added that SpaceX was looking to establish links into those countries where Starlink could be turned on quickly, and where a regulatory process was more amenable to get necessary approvals in place.

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