EchoStar Request for Co-primary Geostationary Orbit Ka-band Designation Denied by FCC

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The ESC’s (EchoStar Satellite Corporation) Petition for Rulemaking was denied last week by the FCC’s International Bureau. The request was for modifying the commission’s Ka-band plans to allow GSO (geostationary satellite orbit) FSS (fixed satellite service) services based on a co-primary operation in the bands of and 28.6-29.1 GHz and 18.8-19.3 GHz reserved for NGSO (non-geostationary satellite orbit) FSS.

Hughes Network Systems, Hughes Electronics Corporation and SES AMERICOM supported the petition filed by Echostar. Hughes Network Systems seconded EchoStar’s statement that the bands lie fallow and co-primary utilisation could result in the creation of innovative and additional service provisions. The denial of the petition in the FCC Order (DA 14-1783) gives the explanation: “At the time EchoStar filed its Petition, the only U.S. NGSO FSS Ka-band licensee, Teledesic, had recently surrendered its license. In addition, other NGSO FSS Ka-band applicants had withdrawn their applications. Thus, it was unclear if any parties were taking concrete steps to launch an NGSO FSS Ka-band system. Based on these circumstances, EchoStar asserted that NGSO FSS spectrum was not likely to be used.”

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