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Verizon: 4K No Reason to Hang Onto C-Band

WASHINGTON—Any fears that C-band spectrum might not be able to accommodate future satellite delivery of 4K programming are “misplaced” according to Verizon, with new technology updates and an overall decline in the demand of C-band traffic helping to absorb such hi-res programming.

This was one of the key takeaways of an ex parte letter from Verizon to the FCC in regards to making the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz spectrum band typically used for C-band available for 5G. Verizon joins other companies and organizations this week that have made their opinions known with such filings, like Eutelsat.

Verizon argues that while the market uptake of 4K and UHD TV sets is significant, programming for this higher resolution still lags behind, causing no immediate need for dramatic change. As of last year, reports showed there were only 51 active UHD services available to customers, with most 4K/UHD content delivered by online streaming. “The evidence to date does not suggest this is likely to change dramatically any time soon,” Verizon said.

Rather, Verizon suggests that the FCC look toward investing in up-to-date compression technology or help delivering hi-re content, like the HEVC format. It also says the deployment of fiber will help as it is better suited for the delivery of 4K programming than C-band satellites. Verizon also pointed to the declining demand for C-band content distribution, which is opening up space for growth in satellite-delivered 4K programming.

Also in its ex parte letter, Verizon said that the transition proposal from the C-Band Alliance is the preferable option over the one from ACA.

The full ex parte letter is available to read here.