TR Daily SIA Seeks Rulemaking on 51.4-52.4 GHz Band Allocation
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Friday, November 20, 2020

SIA Seeks Rulemaking on 51.4-52.4 GHz Band Allocation

The Satellite Industry Association has filed a petition for rulemaking asking the FCC to adopt a domestic allocation in the 51.4-52.4 gigahertz for the fixed-satellite service (FSS) in the Earth-to-space direction for geostationary satellite orbit (GSO) networks in the wake of last year’s global allocation at the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) (TR Daily, Nov. 22, 2019).

"Following the adoption domestically of the WRC-19 51.4 to 52.4 GHz allocation for the GSO FSS, the FCC should issue a further notice in the proceeding to expand this new allocation by making it available to non-geostationary satellite orbit (‘NGSO’) FSS systems," SIA said in its petition, which was filed yesterday. "This latter issue is ripe for consideration as it was raised in the Boeing Petition for Rulemaking for NGSO use of the 51.4-52.4 GHz Bands [TR Daily, June 23, 2016]. Adopting these new FSS uplink allocations domestically will serve the public interest by providing additional capacity to meet the needs of users across the United States for satellite broadband services, including in rural and remote areas."

"The 51.4–52.4 GHz band is currently allocated domestically to non-federal and federal fixed and mobile services. Currently, there are no active non-federal licenses in this band, leaving the spectrum fallow and ideal for use for GSO FSS Earth-to-space operations," the petition said. "In addition, no rule changes are needed to apply general sharing requirements between terrestrial and satellite services because the changes made by WRC-19 are already included or referenced in the FCC’s rules. Specifically, WRC-19 extended the application of general power limits on terrestrial stations and earth stations in Article 21 to the 51.4–52.4 GHz band. These limits are contained in Section 25.204 of the FCC’s rules and already apply to all bands above 15 GHz. In addition, WRC-19 amended Appendix 7 for determining the coordination distances for earth station sharing with fixed and mobile services to address this new frequency band. The FCC’s rules generally refer to Appendix 7 with respect to coordination between co-primary satellite and terrestrial services. Therefore, the FCC’s current rules provide appropriate protections for incumbent services in and adjacent to the 51.4–52.4 GHz band."

Terrestrial entities asked the FCC to reject Boeing’s petition (TR Daily, Oct. 18, 2016). In its petition, Boeing sought the allocation of additional FSS uplink spectrum in the 50.4-51.4 GHz and 51.4-52.4 GHz bands. The company said in its petition that the "new uplink spectrum will help create a five gigahertz block of uplink spectrum that, paired with FSS downlink spectrum in the 37.5-42.5 GHz band, will enable very high data-rate V-band satellite broadband services in the near future." —Paul Kirby, [email protected]

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