Dish-led MVDDS Coalition urges FCC to act on 12.2-12.7 GHz band for 5G asap

The MVDDS 5G Coalition, which includes Dish Network, is asking the FCC to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking as soon as possible for the 12.2-12.7 GHz band. The coalition is pushing the rulemaking so that Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (MVDDS) spectrum can be used for a two-way mobile broadband 5G service.

The group petitioned the FCC for a rulemaking earlier this year and said the 12.2-12.7 GHz band offers 500 MHz of contiguous, underutilized MVDDS spectrum that is ideally suited for 5G. By initiating a rulemaking, the group said, the public will have a chance to participate and enable the commission to unleash the MVDDS band for 5G mobile uses while protecting direct broadcast satellite (DBS) operations and leaving ample spectrum available for future non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) fixed-satellite service (FSS).

AT&T, T-Mobile US, Intelsat and OneWeb are among those that want the petition dismissed or denied. AT&T has argued that the petitioners have not presented any technical justification for revisiting the rules or provided an explanation of how DBS services might be protected from interference if MVDDS service were mobile and 2-way.

While T-Mobile has said it supports a re-evaluation of whether the 12 GHz band can be used for mobile broadband services, it said additional rights should not automatically be extended to current MVDDS licensees because incumbents have failed to make use of their authorized spectrum.

In its latest filing, the MVDDS 5G Coalition said it's concerned that OneWeb has applied to seek access to the 12.2-12.7 GHz band in the United States, noting that OneWeb has requested access to 5,900 megahertz of U.S. spectrum without the submission of a usage study or any type of demand modeling.

"OneWeb has added that, of the 5,900 megahertz of spectrum requested, the company intends to use 2,000 megahertz of spectrum solely to support satellite-to-user links," the coalition said in its filing (PDF). "Even if additional NGSO applicants materialize and seek access to the same satellite-to-user frequencies that OneWeb has sought, 2,000 megahertz represents a truly remarkable amount of spectrum for satellite-to-mobile user links, especially in the absence of any business or technical explanation of the need for this amount of NGSO capacity. OneWeb and other purported NGSO operators could provide meaningful service with access to substantially less than 2,000 megahertz of spectrum for satellite-to-user links, which would leave ample opportunity for MVDDS licensees to pursue terrestrial 5G deployments in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band."

In two technical studies filed June 8 and June 23, 2016, the coalition used new, ultra-high resolution imagery of buildings and terrain to analyze the degree of attenuation to signal propagation that the most likely 5G use cases would experience in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band.

The studies produced two key findings, according to the coalition: First, MVDDS licensees can deploy two-way 5G services in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band even with the current level of protection that DBS enjoys today from MVDDS licensees. Second, NGSO FSS cannot deploy in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band without substantial geographic separation from MVDDS base and mobile stations even under the existing MVDDS limitation. As a practical matter, the coalition added, NGSO FSS may not be able to deploy in the band at all.

For more:
- see this ex parte filing (PDF)

Related articles:
AT&T, T-Mobile fire back at Dish-led effort to change MVDDS rules
Dish, partners in MVDDS coalition petition to get 12.2-12.7 GHz band into 5G realm