AT&T responds to C-Band Alliance plan

AT&T last week responded to a plan proposed by the C-Band Alliance (CBA) for introducing terrestrial broadband networks in the C-band, suggesting ways in which the plan could be improved upon to enhance mobile 5G operations.

The carrier explained that, in conjunction with CommScope, it undertook an objective review of the CBA plan to determine if the proposal could be further optimized for all stakeholders.

“AT&T greatly appreciates the hard work by the CBA reflected in the proposal,” AT&T told the FCC in its filing (PDF). “Several portions of CBA’s technical proposal are ripe for optimization.”

The mobile giant went on to list in detail its recommendations, such as designating as unrestricted most of the spectrum reallocated for terrestrial mobile 5G use, thereby allowing terrestrial mobile licensees to deploy facilities free of any Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) coordination obligations.

“AT&T, as both a user of FSS C-band services and a leading 5G wireless provider, has supported the Commission’s objective of revising the usage of the FSS C-band to address the critical need for additional mid-band 5G spectrum,” AT&T said. “As discussed above and in the attached CommScope analysis, the CBA’s proposal to govern the potential interaction between terrestrial mobile licensees and FSS earth stations can be enhanced to create more efficient use of the spectrum and to minimize burdens on terrestrial licensees.”

The CBA said it welcomed AT&T’s “constructive approach and support for the CBA’s goal of ensuring the co-existence of satellite and 5G operations in the C-band,” according to a statement provided to FierceWirelessTech.

“The CBA will review AT&T’s detailed technical analysis, consider these suggestions, and assess whether all incumbent C-band services would be fully protected under the AT&T proposal,” CBA said in the statement. “As many stakeholders work toward the safe and fast roll-out of 5G in the C-band spectrum, it is essential to protect the existing customers using C-band satellite services to power the TV and radio programming enjoyed by hundreds of millions of Americans.”

RELATED: CBA supports content companies’ requests for C-band safeguards

The 3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz band, also referred to as C-band, is seen as one of the best chances for the U.S. terrestrial wireless industry to get midband spectrum for 5G. However, the satellite companies that currently use the band say they can only relinquish 200 MHz while continuing to serve their own customers, and their plan to sell the spectrum has come under opposition.