The famous company SpaceX (owned by tech billionaire Elon Musk) launched Starlink satellite internet in 2018. Around 1800 space shuttles have been sent into orbit to provide satellite internet globally. However, a problem has risen as according to SpaceX, Dish Network’s proposal to use the 12GHz radio spectrum for its 5G network could degrade the Starlink satellite internet service offered across the US. Furthermore, the company stated,
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.
Moreover, the company made the accusation at a time when both SpaceX and a group of firms, including Dish Network, are competing with one another for regulatory access to the 12GHz radio spectrum. It is pertinent to mention here that SpaceX currently utilizes the 12GHz radio band for its satellite internet service.
To establish a 5G cellular network on the ground, Dish Network has lobbied the FCC for access to the 12GHz range. Simultaneously, SpaceX informed the FCC that the usability of Starlink’s internet service is directly threatened by opening the 12GHz spectrum to cellular network providers like Dish Network. In a letter to FCC, the company said,
SpaceX submits an extensive technical analysis showing that mobile services envisioned by Dish and RS Access would in fact cause massive disruptions to the uses of next-generation satellite services.
The letter further stated that a 12GHz-banded 5G cellular network would “blow out” and easily obstruct a customer’s Starlink connection. The hazardous interference would reach at least 21 kilometers (13 miles) away from a ground-based cellular 12GHz base station.
In response, Dish Network told a source that it was still analyzing the SpaceX study and could not make any comments at this time. The company said that it is a member of the “5G for 12GHz” coalition, which contends that satellite services and 5G can coexist on the 12GHz band.