SpaceX, Dish Network and other 5G network providers are in a heated battle over radio frequencies, which the space company says it needs for its orbital internet service, Starlink, which Dish says it needs for its customers.
SpaceX claims that if federal regulators allow 5G networks to use a certain band of spectrum, it could cause widespread outages for its Starlink customers.
The frequency spectrum refers to a group of radio frequencies, and federal regulators closely protect the frequencies that companies are allowed to use so that the signals do not interfere with each other.
In the statement , SpaceX targeted Dish Network, which is widely known as a satellite television company, but also owns a cellular network.
The space company claims that Dish Network tried to mislead the Federal Communications Commission, which allocates spectrum use across carriers. It also accused her of putting forward an error analysis in an attempt to prove that allowing her to expand the 5G network would not affect Starlink users.
The problem centers around the 12GHz band, which is used primarily for services like Starlink and its satellite rival OneWeb.
In a letter to the FCC, David Goldstein, SpaceX’s senior director of satellite policy, wrote that no engineer could believe the studies presented by Dish Network and its allies.
He also urges the FCC to investigate whether Dish Network has knowingly provided misleading reports.
And SpaceX conducted its analysis, which it claims corrects some of the assumptions made in the Dish Network and RS Access studies.
SpaceX is fighting a battle to protect Starlink
“If Dish Network’s lobbying efforts are successful, our study shows that Starlink customers could experience harmful interference more than 77% of the time and total outages 74% of the time , making Starlink unusable for most Americans ,” SpaceX said in a statement .
The 5Gfor12GHz alliance – which includes wireless service providers such as Dish Network – said its engineers were also reviewing the files in depth and remain committed to working in good faith with the FCC to make sure the US public is able to reap the huge benefits of 5G services in this band.
The alliance cited a study conducted by an independent company. The study found that 99.85% of customers using Starlink and similar services would not experience any harmful interference with 5G.
The FCC chairwoman called the issue in March one of the most complex.
“We need a lot of work to make sure that the waves accommodate all those different uses without harmful interference,” she said. And I can assure you that we have the best engineers evaluating this right now.
He states that spectrum rights battles like this are not new. Satellite and telecom companies battle each other for what they consider to be the most desirable spectrum bands .
Dish Network has previously criticized SpaceX. It said its plans to put Starlink stations on moving vehicles were illegal. It added that this could harm customers of Dish Network for satellite channels.
Dish Network has approximately 8.2 million subscribers as of May, and hopes to expand that number significantly.
Public filings earlier this year revealed that SpaceX has more than 400,000 global Starlink customers.