Satellite Firms Shop Spectrum to FCC
November 11, 2009
satellite companies have approached the FCC with a plan for freeing up spectrum
for national wireless broadband. This, according to Stacey Higginbotham of GigaOm. Qualcomm and SkyTerra pitched
the commission on adding a terrestrial component to their satellite networks
that would create 100 MHz worth of mobile broadband. The FCC is interested, she
said, but the proposed infrastructure changes have been on the table since
2003, when the FCC approved the configuration over the objections of the
Cost is the obstacle.
Building a terrestrial network proved prohibitively expensive. Then there’s the
issue of handsets, and the absence of such. Higginbotham said a more likely
scenario would be for existing carriers to license the spectrum from satellite
operators and build out the terrestrial network themselves.
The wireless industry
continues to oppose the satellite broadband strategy, which, if it were built
out by the satellite operators, would compete with incumbent carriers.
More on the back-and-forth
between the satellite firms, the wireless industry and the FCC is available at GigaOm.