SpaceX has protested Dish Network’s plan to use the 12 GHz radio spectrum for its 5G network. The space exploration company claims its Starlink satellite internet service would become unusable across the country.
According to a statement on Starlink’s website, Dish’s planned 5G network will cause interference with Starlink more than 77 percent of the time and cause a total outage of service 74 percent of the time. This would effectively make Starlink useless for its American customers.
Dish Network demands FCC crackdown on unauthorized Starlink use
Dish Network is a part of a coalition fighting to gain access to the 12 GHz spectrum from the regulators. This has now set it on a collision course with SpaceX which uses the 12 GHz band for its Starlink satellite internet offering.
SpaceX recently informed the FCC that allowing wireless network providers access to the 12 GHz spectrum threatens the very existence of Starlink. The company said in a letter to the regulatory body, “SpaceX submits an extensive technical analysis showing that mobile services envisioned by Dish and RS Access would, in fact, cause massive disruptions to uses of next-generation satellite services.”
In the same letter, SpaceX complains running a 5G cellular network on the 12 GHz band would blow out and disrupt a Starlink user’s access to the internet. This is because the dishes SpaceX uses for Starlink are very sensitive to radio spectrum working on the same band. The company claims a 5G 12 GHz base station will cause interference not less than a 21 km (13 miles) radius in Starlink services.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk also took to Twitter to voice his concerns on the matter, calling Dish Network’s plans “super shady and unethical.”
Their attempt to bait and switch satellite spectrum for cellular spectrum is super shady and unethical.
If they are successful, it would hurt the least served and completely unserved of the world. Very messed up.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 21, 2022
As reported by PCMag, Dish Network is reviewing SpaceX’s claims and won’t comment yet. However, the coalition the company belongs to has claimed satellite and 5G services can exist together on the 12 GHz band. It cites a study carried out by RKF Engineering.