Starlink profile – spectrum squabbles as usual at 12 GHz
Sep 16, 2021 by Toby Youell


Tags12 GHz, Starlink

The mobile and satellite industries, while complementary in many ways, have often been pitted against each other in the world of spectrum management.

But with the emergence of 5G in the last few years there have been hopes, explored in a PolicyTracker Spectrum Research Service Dossier, that this relationship may change.

Our new profile of satellite operator Starlink reflects this in some ways. Japanese mobile operator KDDI, for example, is using Starlink for backhaul to its remote base stations.

But in one important way, Starlink shows that the two industries continue to have conflicting views on spectrum: the 12 GHz band. The band is used for satellite services, but some holders of US licences want to use the spectrum for terrestrial services. Starlink, even though it is applying to become a telecoms operator so it can receive internet deployment subsidies, is fighting back against the potential change. While the FCC considers the issue, Starlink has to deploy networks in the band at its own risk.

Our profile of Starlink is available to Spectrum Research Service subscribers here.