SpaceX emerges victorious in battle with Dish Network over 12GHz spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has unanimously rejected Dish Network’s bid to utilize the 12GHz radio band for a ground-based 5G network, a move that would have been “detrimental” to millions of Starlink users.

On Thursday the FCC announced it had voted “to preserve spectrum between 12.2-12.7GHz for current and future satellite services.” The official Starlink Twitter account thanked the over 100,000 Starlink customers who had voiced their concern to the FCC over the proposal.

The decision by the FCC ends a long-standing battle between SpaceX and Dish Network over the latter’s plans to use 12GHz spectrum for a 5G cellular network. SpaceX contended that the further use of the band would lead to interference for Starlink users 77% of the time and total outages 74% of the time, rendering the service virtually useless for many subscribers.

The FCC agreed with SpaceX’s analysis with Commissioner Geoffrey Starks saying, “Based on the studies filed, our engineers have concluded to date that high-powered mobile broadband, when deployed throughout the country, will interfere with established and emerging satellite services.” (via PCMag)

On the other side the FCC said that Dish Network had failed to substantiate its claim that its proposed 5G network would not interfere with Starlink. “Even if the 5G advocates agreed to use advanced techniques for interference mitigation, that would not solve the underlying problem that a new ubiquitous 5G terrestrial service poses a significant risk of harmful interference to DBS (direct broadcast satellite),” the report reads.

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