The 5G for 12 GHz Coalition urges the FCC to act by December 31, 2023. This action aims to expand the 12.2 GHz band for terrestrial fixed use. It will allow entities like Dish Network to use the band for fixed wireless access (FWA).
FCC Preserves 12.2 GHz Band for Next-Generation Satellite Broadband
The coalition previously advocated for using the 12.2 GHz band for two-way mobile 5G services, but the FCC rejected this proposal. Elon Musk’s Starlink service won this conflict when the FCC preserved the band for next-generation satellite broadband. The FCC has kept open the possibility of using the 12.2 GHz band for fixed wireless broadband, and the 5G for 12 GHz Coalition relies on this. The assignment of the 12.2 GHz frequency includes Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS), non-geostationary orbit fixed satellite service, and fixed service. The coalition believes that modifying the rules for higher-powered terrestrial fixed wireless will maximize spectrum use.
Dish and RS Access, along with 33 other entities, hold the largest MVDDS licenses in the U.S. Comments filed with the FCC on August 9 show that DBS and NGSO FSS customers likely won’t experience harmful interference from MVDDS terrestrial fixed operations.The coalition told the agency, “We believe this proceeding can still represent a win-win for MVDDS and satellite providers if the commission repurposes the band for high-powered fixed wireless. This can be achieved by relying on a spectrum sharing regime similar to the Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) in the 6 GHz band.”
The coalition noted that a number of equipment manufacturers and providers have already indicated their readiness to release or update two-way radio equipment that can be rapidly deployed for fixed wireless use in the 12.2 GHz band.
Fixed vs. mobile
The mobility of cell phones was one of the problems with the proposal to enable mobile communications in the lower 12 GHz band. However, the location of a fixed consumer is known, which reduces the possibility of interference.
“Doing fixed broadband is much, much easier than doing mobile. We believe the FCC should open up the band, update 20-year-old rules, increase competition and connect folks who don’t have broadband, including in Tribal areas.”Jeff Blum, EVP of External and Legislative Affairs at Dish.
Unlike other spectrum matters, the FCC has full authority to amend the rules in this case. The agency’s auction authority has not expired. Additionally, the coalition argues that the FCC should act immediately. States are beginning to implement Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) proposals. According to the organization, opening up the band offers another way to expand high-speed fixed wireless access to more Americans.
The aspirations of Dish
During a conference call, Dish and EchoStar discussed their intentions to merge, and the 12 GHz band was mentioned. Dish sees fixed wireless as part of its connectivity business, whether delivered via satellite or terrestrial wireless, said Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen. Dish holds licenses for most of the spectrum in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band. If the FCC permits FWA in the band, it would benefit consumers greatly, he stated. John Swieringa, president and COO of Dish Wireless, stated they are focused on launching their retail postpaid business. However, fixed wireless is on their development roadmap.
Source: Fierce Wireless