The imminent demise of the tower industry at the hands of the space age visionaries is still, in the words of Mark Twain, “greatly exaggerated.” Terra firma-based steel tyrannosaurus’ still rule on Planet Earth and will for the foreseeable future as the FCC takes another look at the satellite delivery system model. They will vote on Chairman Tom Wheeler’s Spectrum Frontiers proposal on Thursday, July 14.
CTIA is making note of failed operations launch attempts by satellite companies.
FierceWireless reported that in CTIA’s filing with the commission, it cited:
- Boeing’s 1999 contract to build spy satellites for the U.S. government; that contract was canceled in 2005.
- Teledesic, the “internet in the sky” endeavor that drew early backing from Craig McCaw, Bill Gates and Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Tatal, went through numerous delays but ultimately was abandoned in 2002.
- SkyBridge was designed to compete with Teledesic but was scrapped, and Boeing once again dropped its order for a new small satellite intended for communications and imaging services in 2015.
FierceWireless said that this was the latest in a long line of “bickering between the satellite and terrestrial mobile industries.” Wheeler has encouraged the two to work in sharing opportunities in the past. CTIA told FierceWireless that “despite the fact that satellite operations have only limited rights to use of this spectrum, both the Commission in the Spectrum Frontiers NPRM and the wireless industry have made significant accommodations to satellite incumbents—above and beyond what they needed to do.”
FierceWireless noted that in its letter, CTIA also said:
- The Commission should reject satellite interests’ calls for preferential treatment by seeking free access to spectrum to provide broadband internet access in competition with mobile wireless providers who will purchase rights at auction to use spectrum.
- The protections proposed by the wireless industry in their proposed sharing framework represent significant concessions to the satellite industry, particularly in light of fixed satellite services (FSS) secondary status. Satellite players, however, want to be designated co-primary status.
- Facebook and others who are advocating for spectrum access systems (SASs) and related technologies to manage tiered sharing among licensees and general users are “regulatory experiments” that “will only introduce licensee uncertainty and undermine necessary investment and innovation in 5G.”