SpaceX warns 5G plan would restrict Starlink to most Americans

According to the latest report, SpaceX warned on June 21 that if a proposal to use the 12GHz band for terrestrial 5G networks is approved, its Starlink satellite communication service will be available to most Americans and will become unavailable.

It is reported that Dish Network plans to use the 12GHz radio spectrum for the company’s 5G network, which is also part of the Ku-band spectrum used by Starlink, OneWeb, and other satellite operators to connect to user terminals.


In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), SpaceX said its tests in Las Vegas showed that if the above lobbying succeeds, Starlink users “experience harmful interference” more than 77% of the time, in 74% of the time there is a complete outage of service.

A previous study by RS Access estimated that nationwide 5G networks would cause less than 1 percent of the interference to terminals used by non-geostationary satellite operators, and also detailed solutions that could mitigate the impact.

SpaceX dismissed the RS Access study as grossly inaccurate, saying its analysis was “out of touch with reality” and failed to address factors including how satellite operators share their spectrum through coordinated arrangements.

RS Access’ analysis also assumes that its terrestrial network will only cover dense urban areas and that it will be geographically separated from satellite operators that are located almost entirely in rural areas, requiring Starlink to essentially abandon users in those urban areas, SpaceX said.

According to SpaceX’s research, harmful interference from high-power mobile services in the 12GHz band will extend more than 13 miles from macro base stations under unobstructed conditions.

Moreover, SpaceX urged the FCC to reject Dish Network’s 12GHz proposal and to investigate whether the technical study earlier submitted to the regulator was intentionally misleading. Dish Network spokeswoman Meredith Diers said the company’s “expert engineers are evaluating SpaceX’s views in the filing.”


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