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C-Band Alliance offers new spectrum proposal to hasten US 5G roll-out

In its goal of clearing and repurposing C-band spectrum to support fast 5G wireless deployment, C-Band Alliance updates its spectrum clearing proposal to US regulator the FCC

The C-Band Alliance (CBA), set up by global satellite comms companies to support the US in 5G deployment, has updated its proposal to US regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clear 300MHz of C-band spectrum to support fast 5G wireless deployment throughout the continental US.

The repurposing of up to 300MHz of C-band spectrum depends on a number of yet-unresolved factors, including a final FCC order that accepts the CBA’s market-based proposal, and a satisfactory market-based process with potential terrestrial 5G users of the repurposed spectrum.

In its goal of clearing and repurposing C-band spectrum, the CBA proposes to make available for 5G use 100MHz in 46 top metropolitan areas within 18 months of an FCC order, and 280MHz throughout the continental US within 36 months of a CBA-led auction. The updated FCC filing also includes a 20MHz guard band to protect existing satellite services from 5G interference.

The first tranche of the plan – designed to clear spectrum within 18 months of an FCC order in 46 top metropolitan zones – is now increased to 120MHz, including the 20MHz guard band. The second tranche of the remaining spectrum will be made available within 36 months of a CBA-led auction, providing cleared spectrum throughout the entire continental US.

The CBA says it remains committed to ensuring that existing customers continue to enjoy the quality of service they currently experience, with no interference from 5G services deployed in the future.

“Throughout this nearly two-year process, we have sought to work collaboratively as peers, to be responsive to the goals of US policy-makers seeking spectrum for 5G, and to work closely with our customers to protect their transmissions and understand their current and future network needs,” said Stephen Spengler, CEO of Intelsat, speaking on behalf of the C-Band Alliance.

“Over this time, compression technology has continued to commercialise. We are confident that we can deliver a solution that not only maximises the clearing of mid-band spectrum to enable 5G in the US, but also fully funds a spectrally-efficient, next-generation compression infrastructure for programming distribution in the US.”

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