Economists from Brattle Group provide an economic analysis of the value created by accelerated clearing of C-band spectrum. This study is an Attachment to the January 16 FCC filing “Accelerated C-Band Clearing Payments are Essential to Win the 5G Race.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently announced that the FCC will conduct a public auction for 280 MHz of C-band spectrum in 2020. A speedy transition is critical if the U.S. wants to win the global race to 5G. The C-Band Alliance (CBA)—if fairly incentivized—is uniquely positioned to provide that speed. The CBA’s recent filing explains how the FCC has the authority to require winning C-band bidders to pay for an accelerated clearing of the spectrum as a condition of their participation in the C-band auction and as a license condition.
The CBA proposed and refined terrestrial service rules to provide Flexible Use licensees substantial flexibility while protecting sensitive FSS operations that will continue after the lower portion of the C-band is transitioned; this filing “further clarifies the CBA position and calls attention to shortcomings in terrestrial service rules suggested by ATT.
FCC Chairman Pai recently announced that the FCC will conduct a public auction for 280 MHz of C-band spectrum in 2020. The CBA supports Chairman Pai’s decision, but notes that it does not change the monumental task of transitioning C-band spectrum from satellite transmissions to 5G mobile services quickly and efficiently. China and other countries have already reallocated, assigned, and deployed mid-band spectrum, and that is why speed is of the essence. The CBA—fairly and properly incentivized—is uniquely positioned to enable it. Read more.
The CBA discussed with the FCC how a swift transition of 280 MHz of C-band spectrum via a public auction could work and how the CBA is uniquely suited to serve as transition facilitator. CBA also discussed the operational functions it would perform to ensure a rapid transition, including the careful orchestration and coordination of both the ground and satellite aspects involved in spectrum clearing.
In a filing to the FCC, Telesat, a member of the CBA, criticized the C-band revenue proposal that the Small Satellite Operators (SSOs) made. Telesat identified three elements where the proposal falls short of the necessary standards: it does not reflect the loss of saleable capacity, it does not take satellite coverage into account, and it improperly applies remaining useful life of satellites as a factor.