On October 28, SES, Telesat and Intelsat gave in to demands of more spectrum. The three companies are collectively being called C-Band Alliance. Together, they have expressed plans of offering satellite spectrum worth 300 megahertz to various cellular operators. This spectrum will be used in providing 5G services. The figure is an upgrade from the initial provision worth 200 megahertz.
The increased figure will consist of a usable 280 megahertz, along with a guard band of 20 megahertz. This move is due to pressure put by an official of the Federal Commission of Communications for greater spectrum. Further, there was also threat from a rival spectrum plan which demanded 370 megahertz. Experts of the FCC plan to take a decision on the repurposing of the C-band downlink’s 500 megahertz by the end of 2019. Currently, this spectrum is used by U.S. satellite operators for radio broadcasts and satellite television.
Michael O’Rielly, commissioner at FCC, has been extremely vocal about C-band. In September, O’Rielly said that U.S. requires at least 300 megahertz when it comes to this coveted spectrum. This will be purely for 5G cellular service. A trade association called ACA Connects has 700 mid-size and small and telecom providers. In July, this association formed an alliance with Association of Competitive Carriers and cable heavyweight Charter Communications. Together, they proposed an option of repurposing the C-band’s 370 megahertz. The break-up would be a usable 350 megahertz, along with a guard band of 20 megahertz guard band.
On October 28, the Alliance of C-Band admitted that it is possible to clear 300 megahertz. It can be done if the process of adopting advanced technology for signal compression and signal enhancements is sped up. The CEO of Intelsat Stephen Spengler represented the alliance and confirmed that they are trying to follow U.S. policy makers’ goals. He also stated that they are confident of being able to deliver an answer to maximizing mid-band spectrum’s clearance for enabling 5G services.