Podcast: Is 7—24 GHz the new spectrum battlefield?

The mobile industry is interested in this range for 6G even though it is already extensively used, including by the satellite industry.

| Richard Haas

While the next generation of mobile technology, or 6G, is only expected to emerge around 2030, the industry is already considering what new spectrum bands could be opened up for mobile use.

Equipment manufacturer Ericsson has indicated that it’s interested in various spectrum bands in this range, including the 7.125—8.5 GHz, 10.7—13.25 GHz and 14—15.35 GHz bands. The bands will likely be submitted later this year at WRC-23 to be studied for an agenda item at WRC-27.

However, the 7—24 GHz range includes many bands that are highly valuable for the satellite industry, including the Ku-band and the Ka-band. A recent satellite industry report claimed that its operations in this band have generated direct investment worth $185 billion and indirect investment worth a total of $370 billion.

But how will regulators decide who needs the spectrum the most, and who can derive the most benefit from these bands? In the latest episode of the Spectrum Policy Podcast, Richard Haas discusses this with Richard Marsden, senior managing director at NERA Economic Consulting in New York.

Marsden notes that the satellite and mobile sectors access spectrum in very different ways. The mobile industry relies on exclusive licences while the satellite industry shares the same spectrum bands across users.

Marsden argues that this fundamental difference in usage means that auctioning spectrum in 7—24 GHz likely wouldn’t work. Instead, he argues, it is up to regulators to make some difficult decisions and side with satellite or mobile as bands come up for discussion.

Listen to the new podcast below. You can also find it on all major podcast platforms.


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