Starlink mobile plans hit snag as FCC dismisses SpaceX spectrum application

Starlink mobile plans hit snag as FCC dismisses SpaceX spectrum application post thumbnail image
Snow and ice cover part of a Starlink satellite dish.
Enlarge / A Starlink consumer terminal throughout winter.
Getty Photographs | AntaresNS

Starlink’s cell ambitions have been dealt not less than a brief blow yesterday when the Federal Communications Fee dismissed SpaceX’s software to make use of a number of spectrum bands for cell service.

SpaceX is searching for approval to make use of as much as 7,500 second-generation Starlink satellites with spectrum within the 1.6 GHz, 2 GHz, and a pair of.4 GHz bands. SpaceX might nonetheless find yourself getting what it needs however must undergo new rulemaking processes during which the FCC will consider whether or not the spectrum bands can deal with the system with out affecting present customers.

The FCC Area Bureau’s ruling dismissed the SpaceX software yesterday as “unacceptable for submitting.” The appliance was filed over a yr in the past.

The FCC stated the SpaceX requests “don’t considerably adjust to Fee necessities established in rulemaking proceedings which decided that the 1.6/2.4 GHz and a pair of GHz bands aren’t accessible for added MSS [mobile-satellite service] functions.”

However the FCC yesterday additionally issued two public notices searching for touch upon SpaceX petitions to revise the fee’s spectrum-sharing guidelines for the bands. Dish Community and Globalstar oppose the SpaceX requests, and SpaceX must show to the FCC that its plan will not trigger dangerous interference to different techniques.

T-Cellular deal nonetheless on, however SpaceX needs extra capability

The FCC order will not cease SpaceX’s partnership with T-Cellular, which makes use of T-Cellular’s licensed spectrum within the 1.9 GHz band. In January, Starlink demonstrated the first text messages despatched between T-Cell phones through one in all Starlink’s low-Earth orbit satellites. Texting service for T-Cellular customers is predicted someday throughout 2024 with voice and information service starting later.

However SpaceX needs to make use of extra spectrum bands to extend capability within the US and elsewhere. Area has Starlink partnerships with several carriers exterior the US.

SpaceX filed its application in February 2023. “Granting this software will allow SpaceX to reinforce its MSS capabilities and leverage its next-generation satellite tv for pc constellation to supply elevated capability, diminished latency, and broader service protection for cell customers throughout america and the world, together with these customers underserved or unserved by present networks,” the applying stated.

Dish Community proprietor EchoStar is offended that the FCC continues to be entertaining SpaceX’s request for the two GHz band. “The FCC ought to instantly dismiss SpaceX’s petition for rulemaking with out searching for remark, as a result of the mere motion of searching for remark would offer it with undeserved credibility and threaten the knowledge that has allowed EchoStar to innovate on this band resulting in important public curiosity advantages,” the corporate told the FCC yesterday.

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