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FCC chairman wants public auction to convert satellite bands for 5G

An FCC official told the Wall Street Journal that the regulator hopes to put the C-band Auction in 2020 to a vote and launch the auction by the end of the year.

Satellite companies, however, may not be happy. Industry giants like Intelsat and SES were not averse to selling their spectrum, but they wanted a private auction to share the money they earn, claiming that the FCC should not use a spectrum without paying it. This is contrary to a public auction. The C-Band Alliance, a group representing the satellite companies, has hinted "lengthy litigation" if the FCC progresses. Carriers are also mixed opinions. AT & T, which owns DirecTV, has called C-band an "opportunity," but also wanted compensation and a "reasonable transition plan" to avoid disruption. Verizon (Engadget's parent company and Pai's former employer) also wanted "appropriate incentives and safeguards" to ensure a speedy process.

This is not the first time the FCC has come looking for more 5G radio waves. Senators have accused the FCC of ignoring evidence of possible adverse effects on the weather forecast, for example, if 5G is allowed in the 24 GHz band.

Against this background, there is no doubt that 5G is currently experiencing problems in the United States. AT & T and Verizon both need to operate their current 5G in very high frequency ranges, making it hard to find a signal and too easy to lose ̵

1; in some cases even complete sports arenas are not covered. C-band access would still be higher than today's commonly used LTE, but could offer much broader coverage and more capacity. It may be more a question of when these frequencies open, as if they are opening at all.

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