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DISH hits back over SpaceX claims that sharing 12GHz spectrum would 'kill Starlink'

SpaceX alleges DISH' use of the 12GHz spectrum for 5G services would render Starlink services unusable

DISH, along with the 5G for 12GHz Coalition, shot back at SpaceX’s unproven claims that using the 12GHz spectrum would interfere with its Starlink network, branding the firm ‘anti-5G’.

In late June, SpaceX called on its Starlink users to file objections with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a bid to prevent DISH from accessing the 12GHz band for 5G services. The company wants exclusive access to the 12GHz spectrum, as it claims that allowing rival companies to use the wavelength will render its Starlink space broadband service unusuable.  

The company, specifically, claimed DISH Wireless' use of the 12GHz spectrum could cause "harmful interference" to SpaceX’s fleet of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, while also expressing concern about potential outages.

“If DISH’s lobbying efforts succeed, our study shows that Starlink customers will experience harmful interference more than 77% of the time and total outage of service 74% of the time, rendering Starlink unusable for most Americans,” SpaceX stated.

However, the 5G for 12GHz Coalition denied the allegations, stating the commercial space firm endeavored to misdirect the consumers and the FCC with “nationwide conclusions based on results it generated from a single cherry-picked partial economic area (PEA): Las Vegas, NV.”

“This tactic, which is commonly used by Elon Musk, is not only disingenuous, but it promulgates an anti-5G narrative that is harmful to American consumers who deserve greater competition, connectivity options and innovation,” the Coalition writes in a statement published on Thursday.

SpaceX didn’t mince words in its own letter to the FCC, claiming “DISH never lived up to its repeated promises to deploy a new terrestrial network using the exclusive licenses already stored up in its warehouses”, and that the commission “simply cannot gift more spectrum to any operator with this track record of broken promises and stranded consumers".

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