Tag Archive for: Dish Network

Dish Network has submitted a request to utilize the 12 GHz spectrum for fixed terrestrial broadband services within the United States. This comes on the heels of regulatory authorities rejecting Dish Network’s previous proposal for mobile services in the same spectrum band due to concerns about potential interference with other satellite operators.

Dish’s pursuit of fixed broadband services in this spectrum range is driven by the belief that providing services to stationary locations, rather than to mobile customers, would substantially reduce the risk of interference with other users of the same spectrum. Jeff Blum, Dish’s Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs, highlighted that the predictability of fixed locations simplifies coordination and sharing efforts, in contrast to the dynamic nature of mobile users.

This endeavor is part of Dish Network’s larger strategic plan, and it involves collaborating with RS Access, a spectrum holding company. Together, they aim to upgrade their existing licenses in the 12 GHz band to offer terrestrial 5G services, contributing to the evolving landscape of connectivity and communication.

Originally, Dish Network had intended to use frequencies spanning from 12.2 to 12.7 GHz, which fall within the Ku-band, for a high-power, two-way mobile service that would support its expanding wireless network across the United States. However, concerns arose from satellite operators such as SpaceX’s Starlink and OneWeb, who use these frequencies for user terminal connections in their satellite broadband networks. These operators voiced worries about potential disruption to their services if Dish’s mobile service plan proceeded.

In response to these concerns and recognizing the challenges associated with sharing frequencies in a mobile context, Dish Network has shifted its focus to fixed terrestrial broadband services in the same spectrum. This shift reflects the company’s commitment to finding a viable solution that minimizes interference while still harnessing the benefits of the 12 GHz spectrum for delivering efficient and reliable broadband connectivity to customers across the United States.

Dish Network’s competitor in satellite broadcasting, DirecTV, primarily owned by U.S. telecommunications giant AT&T, has also voiced concerns that millions of its customers would face significant detrimental interference if Dish Network’s mobile service proposal were to proceed.

Both Dish Network and DirecTV currently utilize frequencies within the spectrum band for delivering linear television programming to their customers.

Dish Network, alongside RS Access and other participants of the 5G for 12 GHz Coalition, had initially contended that mobile services could coexist harmoniously with other users of the spectrum. However, despite these claims and numerous interference studies, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made the decision in May to reject their mobile service plan.

In response, the 5G for 12 GHz Coalition submitted a formal regulatory filing to the FCC on August 9. This filing advocates for an alternative approach, suggesting that the FCC should consider opening up the frequencies ranging from 12.2 to 12.7 GHz for the provision of high-powered, two-way fixed broadband services instead. This new approach aims to address the concerns raised by various stakeholders while still harnessing the potential of the 12 GHz spectrum for delivering enhanced broadband connectivity services.

In addition to the discussions surrounding the 12.2-12.7 GHz spectrum, the FCC has proposed the potential for flexible terrestrial wireless usage in the adjacent 12.7-13.25 GHz spectrum range.

The proposal to allocate more than 1,000 MHz of spectrum spanning from 12.2 GHz to 13.25 GHz for terrestrial communications holds the promise of positioning the United States as a frontrunner in global 5G competitiveness. The coalition supporting this initiative emphasized the potential for the U.S. to surpass international rivals, including China, and regain a leadership role in the advancement of 5G technology.

While Dish Network currently does not offer fixed broadband services, its affiliated company, EchoStar, does provide such services through a constellation of geostationary satellites. Notably, Dish Network and EchoStar recently unveiled plans to merge their operations, aiming to integrate their terrestrial and space-based connectivity solutions.

Despite the discourse surrounding these developments, representatives from SpaceX, OneWeb, and DirecTV have not provided official statements or comments concerning their intentions to deliver high-powered, two-way fixed broadband services within the 12 GHz spectrum band.

Dish Network and others are pushing for permission to use 12 GHz spectrum for 5G as according to them, the SpaceX’s study on how it would severely disrupt its broadband customers is “scientifically and logically flawed.”

The 5G for 12 GHz Coalition, which includes the satellite TV broadcaster and a mix of telcos, public interest groups and trade associations, said the study draws nationwide conclusions from a “single cherry-picked” area that is “among the most unfavorable geographies to analyze” interference.

The coalition also said SpaceX’s broadband company Starlink was spreading misinformation by telling customers their service cannot coexist with plans to use 12 GHz frequencies for a high-power 5G network.

The Federal Communications Commission has received nearly 100,000 comments amid Starlink’s call to customers to urge the agency to reject Dish Network’s 12 GHz proposal.

“This tactic, which is commonly used by Elon Musk, is not only disingenuous, but it promulgates an anti-5G narrative that is harmful to American consumers who deserve greater competition, connectivity options and innovation,” the 5G for 12 GHz Coalition said a statement. 

“It also stands to threaten America’s global leadership in the 5G and technology sector as other countries outpace the nation in delivering next-generation services.”

The 5G for 12 GHz Coalition pointed to earlier interference studies commissioned by RS Access, a spectrum holding company that is one of the group’s members, which estimated a nationwide 5G network would cause interference to less than 1% of terminals used by non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellite operators.

SpaceX declined to comment but has previously refuted these studies, which were conducted by engineering firm RKF Engineering Solutions.

Conflicting analysis

Both RS Access and Dish Network have licenses in the 12 GHz band that they are seeking to upgrade for high-speed terrestrial mobile services.

The 12 GHz band is part of the Ku-band spectrum that Starlink, OneWeb and other satellite operators use to connect with user terminals.

RS Access told the FCC in May that 5G wireless broadband in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band “can readily coexist” with NGSO “fixed satellite service deployments, which use 10.7-12.7 GHz for downlink.”

However, SpaceX said June 21 that tests it conducted in Las Vegas, United States showed how Starlink would become unusable for most Americans if the FCC allowed high-power mobile services in the 12 GHz band.

Starlink users would experience harmful interference 77% of the time, according to SpaceX’s study, and total outage of services 74% of the time.

SpaceX said its analysis underlined various inaccuracies and incorrect assumptions made in RFK’s studies. 

The 5G for 12 GHz Coalition took issue with how SpaceX’s results were generated from the Las Vegas partial economic area (PEA), in “contrast to the nationwide simulation submitted by RKF.”

SpaceX said it chose this area because it is a market that Dish Network has targeted for its first mobile operations.

But the 5G for 12 GHz Coalition said this PEA’s “unique topology and morphology” makes it ten times as unfavorable to assess 5G and satellite coexistence as the national average.

The group said SpaceX’s study also “grossly distorts the 5G network configuration to create interference with NGSO terminals.”

It said: “If the assumptions SpaceX uses in Las Vegas are extrapolated nationwide, they would necessitate the deployment of over 600,000 macro 12 GHz sites across the country.”

This compares with the 67,000 sites AT&T currently uses for its nationwide network.

The coalition added that SpaceX’s Las Vegas analysis also assumes a higher level of service in urban and suburban areas than previously indicated.

The 5G for 12 GHz Coalition’s statement comes a week after the FCC gave Starlink permission June 30 to use part of the 12 GHz band to connect vehicles, boats and aircraft on the move — in addition to fixed locations — subject to various conditions.

Dish Network and RS Access had argued against the approval, which the FCC said does not prejudge a decision on their 5G deployment plans.

Starlink announced a maritime-focused service plan for U.S. customers July 7, which offers up to 350 megabits per second download speeds while at sea for $5,000 a month and a one-time $10,000 hardware cost for two terminals.

Starlink Maritime currently advertises a latency rate of under 99 milliseconds, compared with 20-40 milliseconds for its other service plans. 

The maritime service also currently only covers coastal waters, with broadband coverage slated for elsewhere in the fourth quarter of 2022, and across seas globally in the first quarter of 2023.