SpaceX, a company owned by Elon Musk, warns that its Starlink satellite internet would be “unusable for most Americans”, if a proposal to use the 12 GHz band for terrestrial 5G is approved.
According to the Space News portal, satellite broadcaster Dish Network is requesting permission to operate a high-power mobile service in the 12 GHz band. This is part of the Ku-band spectrum used by Starlink, One Web and other carriers.
The Ku band (Kurz-unten band) It is a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that goes from 12 to 18 GHz, used in satellite communications.
Musk’s company sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, to criticize the possibility. It is signed by David Goldman, senior director of satellite policy at SpaceX.
According to Goldman, tests conducted in Las Vegas show how the proposal would cause Starlink users to “experience harmful interference more than 77% of the time.” In addition, the network would be “subject to a total interruption of service 74% of the time”.
“This analysis”, continues the SpaceX executive, “verifies what should be intuitive: that a high-power terrestrial network would blow up anyone wearing the high-sensitivity equipment that satellite consumers must wear to receive signals that comply with international power restrictions and the Commission on Satellite Downlink Transmissions.”
Therefore, fewer Americans will be able to connect to next-generation satellite services, and those that can will suffer from very poor quality.
Dish Network’s position on SpaceX criticism
Dish Network, The company that asks to work in the 12 GHz band was founded in 1996 by Charles and Cantey Ergen, and is based in Meridian, Colorado. It is the leading provider of pay television in the United States, with almost 15 million customers in the country.
According to Dish Network, if the 5G network enters the 12 GHz band, it would cause interference to less than 1% of the terminals used by non-geostationary satellite operators. SpaceX disagrees with this, considering the analysis “not tied to reality.”
Faced with the request from Elon Musk’s company, Dish Network stated that “the company’s expert engineers are evaluating SpaceX’s claims in the presentation.” Dish Network has commercially launched 5G services in more than 100 US cities since this year, covering about 20% of the country’s population.