Dish Network has helped publish a lengthy response to what it calls a “misinformation campaign” by SpaceX regarding Dish’s plans to use 12GHz spectrum for 5G.
Dish is in the process of building out its 5G network in an effort to become the fourth nationwide carrier in the US. SpaceX has taken issues with Dish’s plans to use 12GHz spectrum, saying it will interfere with the downlink connection between Starlink satellites and ground-based relays. SpaceX has even recruited more than 95,000 of its Starlink customers to petition the FCC to block Dish’s plans and even accused the latter of trying to mislead the FCC with studies showing the technologies could coexist.
According to Dish, however, SpaceX is the one that has used misleading data to make its point. A post by the 5Gfor12GHz Coalition, of which Dish is a member, makes the case that Starlink cherry-picked its data points and grossly exaggerated others.
For example, when discussing how much Dish’s use of 12GHz spectrum could interfere with its downlink, SpaceX used Las Vegas, Nevada, as its data point. According to Dish, Las Vegas was a “cherry-picked partial economic area (PEA” as a result of unique factors.
Given its unique topology and morphology, Las Vegas is among the most unfavorable geographies to analyze for co-existence (nearly ten times as unfavorable for 5G/satellite coexistence as the national average).
Similarly, Dish accuses SpaceX of ‘grossly distorting’ 5G network configuration to make its point.
If the assumptions SpaceX uses in Las Vegas are extrapolated nationwide, they would necessitate the deployment of over 600,000 macro 12 GHz sites across the country. This is wholly unrealistic, as leading nationwide carrier AT&T currently uses only 67,000 macrocells to provide coverage across the entire country to its 81 million subscribers, and with its entire portfolio of spectrum spanning 600 MHz-39 GHz.
Dish and the 5Gfor12GHz Coalition’s response demonstrates this 5G scuffle is far from over, and the FCC will clearly have its hands full trying to untangle the matter.