If Dish Network is permitted to use the 12GHz spectrum for its 5G cellular network, SpaceX has warned that subscribers of its Starlink service in the United States may suffer severe disruptions in their internet connection.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will make the final decision after receiving requests for permission to utilise the 12GHz band from Dish Network and other companies, including RS Access of New York.
However, Dish previously published statistics indicating that ground-based 5G networks may easily share the frequency with low-Earth orbit satellite networks like SpaceX’s Starlink service.
But according to a statement on SpaceX’s website: “Despite technical studies dating back as far as 2016 that refute the basis of their claims, DISH has attempted to mislead the FCC with faulty analysis in hopes of obscuring the truth.”
“If DISH’s lobbying efforts succeed, our study shows that Starlink customers will experience harmful interference more than 77% of the time and total outage of service 74% of the time, rendering Starlink unusable for most Americans,” added SpaceX, which has launched over 2,500 Starlink satellites into orbit for its broadband service.
The company led by Elon Musk also provided a 12-page technical report outlining how mobile services envisioned by Dish will create enormous disruptions to customers of next-generation satellite services, such as Starlink.
It said that a high-gain antenna, such as the SpaceX user terminal, is designed with enough sensitivity to receive very faint signals from the desired transmitter, but that “such antennas do not, however, ‘reject’ interference coming from other directions”. As a result, interference would completely eliminate the targeted signal.
Meanwhile, according to reports, Dish’s spokesperson said that its engineers are “evaluating SpaceX’s claims”.
It should be noted that last week Dish said that it had started commercial 5G services in over 100 US locations, covering around 20% of the country’s population, by utilising frequencies from other spectrum bands. However, whether it will be able to access the 12GHz frequency as part of its 5G deployment remains to be seen.