Verizon, ViaSat argue over 28 GHz sharing details

While AT&T (NYSE: T) and EchoStar agreed to a potential sharing framework for the 28 GHz band, other stakeholders in the satellite industry and AT&T rival Verizon (NYSE: VZ) are still working on complicated technical details to make sharing possible.

In an ex parte filing with the FCC, Verizon is urging the FCC to refrain from acting on a ViaSat petition until it has considered the impact of existing and future fixed satellite service (FSS) earth station operations on services proposed for the 28 GHz band.

Verizon noted that it supports efforts to seek a solution that would permit satellite operators and terrestrial mobile services to coexist in the 28 GHz band. The operator continues to work with the satellite industry, including ViaSat, to "mutually understand the interference issues and to explore a workable coexistence regime," Verizon said in the filing. "But that technical work has been focused on fixed gateway earth stations, not on the unique issues raised by potentially introducing thousands of new, moving earth stations into this band."

It's an issue that participants raised during an FCC workshop last month that the FCC held to advance its Spectrum Frontiers proceeding. It's one thing for mobile operators to share spectrum with satellite companies when they know where their fixed earth stations are located, and it's quite another when it's unknown where future moving earth stations are going to be located.

From ViaSat's perspective, it appears its representatives aren't too happy with the pace at which the mobile industry is sharing critical technical information. ViaSat executives told the FCC that essential modeling from the 5G industry still had not been provided and was not expected until the end of the month, while satellite interests had provided data requested of them prior to a meeting on March 29. ViaSat says it has growing concerns that the two-way dialogue that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler mandated of the industry is not, in fact, occurring.

ViaSat noted that the clustered deployment and small cell sizes of 5G base stations as described by 5G stakeholders indicates that it is feasible for individually licensed satellite earth stations to coexist with 5G operations in metropolitan areas. However, it has concerns about the transmit power being sought for 5G because it's far greater than contemplated by the commission in its Spectrum Frontiers Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

For more:
- see this Verizon filing
- see this ViaSat filing

Related articles:
AT&T, EchoStar agree on potential framework for sharing 28 GHz band
Satellite, mobile industries still hashing out spectrum sharing for 5G
Verizon promises to work with satellite industry on potential interference issues in 28 GHz band