Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Satellite Operators On Guard Against Ground Attack at 2015 Spectrum Conclave

EUTELSAT 3B satellite in the Mistral room for mechanical tests

Copyright EADS Astrium / D. Marques

Commercial satellite fleet operators on March 11 said international regulators are using “flawed” documentation in calculating the future radio-spectrum requirements of terrestrial mobile broadband services.

The result, they said, is that overblown estimates of how much spectrum will be required for terrestrial wireless broadband will be distributed to governments worldwide in the run-up to a meeting in 2015 of global radio spectrum regulators.

Satellite companies are expecting a re-run of a 2007 fight with wireless terrestrial operators over a slice of the C-band spectrum heavily used by satellite services, particularly in less-developed nations.

The 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07) ended with what was portrayed as a victory for satellite operators in maintaining priority access to C-band.

It turns out to have been only a partial victory, and perhaps only a temporary one. WRC-15 is now shaping up to feature a renewed push for C-band by terrestrial wireless operators.

Unlike in 2007, these companies can now point to millions of smartphones in service as Exhibit A in their argument that they need more spectrum.

It is here that the data produced by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the Geneva-based United Nations affiliate that regulates wireless spectrum and satellite orbital positions, may have a disastrous effect on governments now starting to develop policies for WRC-15.

Michel de Rosen
“The ITU demand study for spectrum for mobile is simply flawed,” said Michel de Rosen, chief executive of Eutelsat of Paris.

“We’ve looked at this quite carefully and this is a major exaggeration [of demand] by a factor of 10 or even more than 100 times.”

Satellite companies said after WRC-07 that they had learned their lesson and never again would be blindsided by threats to their spectrum.

This time around, they said, they had begun organizing themselves and their constituencies so that they are prepared for WRC-15.

Romain Bausch
“We have been making good preparation this time,” said Romain Bausch, chief executive of SES of Luxembourg.

He said SES has placed representatives on the regional ITU bodies that help prepare WRC-15, and that SES recently hosted an ITU delegation led by ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure to assure that the satellite industry’s views are taken into account.

Bausch said among the subjects brought up with the ITU are “the difficulties we have with the [spectrum] requirements as defined by the mobile guys.”

“Let’s not be naïve,” de Rosen said, allowing as how he did not mean to question the competence of the ITU personnel, but rather that of the political delegates to WRC-15.

“This is a real struggle with people who want to take our lunch.”

Read the full article here

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