SpaceX/T-Mobile SCS Plans Getting Interference Criticisms
22 May 2023
SpaceX plans to offer direct-to-device service using T-Mobile PCS G Block spectrum (see 2302080001) are facing pushback about possible interference, per comments Friday in docket 23-135. In an opposition to SpaceX's requested modification of its second-generation constellation authorization, Omnispace said…
the interference threats posed by its supplemental coverage from space (SCS) operations "are not difficult to grasp." It said SpaceX's plans for 1990-1995 MHz band downlinks violate the global allocation of that spectrum for mobile satellite service (MSS) uplinks. It said it would be "extremely difficult" to juggle powering down receivers and transmitters to avoid interference to and from satellites operating on a co-primary basis while also maintaining communications with user equipment on the ground. It said the SpaceX request should either be denied or conditioned so it doesn't cause interference to MSS operators licensed elsewhere or systems with higher ITU priority than SpaceX. FCC rules don't allow SpaceX's proposed use of T-Mobile terrestrial spectrum, and the two haven't asked for the waivers that would be needed to authorize those SCS operations, AT&T said. The FCC shouldn't take SpaceX at its word that it won't cause interference and instead needs to demonstrate that terrestrial licensees including T-Mobile will be protected, it said. Rural Wireless Association members with mobile and fixed network operations in the adjacent 1895-1910 MHz and 1975-1990 MHz bands in rural and remote areas also face interference threats from the SpaceX/T-Mobile plans, the RWA said. The modification application says nothing backs up SpaceX claims that there will be no harmful interference to the adjacent PCS C Block or AWS H Block. In response to concerns raised by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (see 2305050060), SpaceX said the issues it raises are better addressed in the agency's current proceeding to establish an SCS rules framework.