July 6, 2016 — Facebook, of all entities, has come in on the side of the players that are telling the satellite industry to share the wealth. In an ex parte presentation, Facebook said it supports sharing of both users and satellite operators within the new 28, 37 and 39 GHz upper microwave, flexible-use bands. They believe that the degree of sharing will allow for the coexistence of satellite earth stations without harm to mobile deployments in those bands.
Well, I have a hard time giving Facebook any credit for having any idea of the wireless business and the complexities that occur when multiple users and platforms vie for peaceful coexistence.
To wit, they are lobbying for more use of spectrum access systems and related technologies, which enable better frequency utilization, thusly improved sharing and management of spectrum. While this sounds great in theory, such practices haven’t even been proven in the 3.5 GHz band yet. And most operators aren’t going to warm to the idea until that happens.
Wonder what Facebook is thinking? Could it be that they are taking a page out of Google’s philosophy to become a player in such platforms as remotely piloted, high-altitude, solar-powered unmanned aircraft (HAPS) or innovative new terrestrial wireless systems that will be a part of the 5G ecosystem, especially for rural and remote areas?
Whatever the reasons, you can bet it won’t be for the betterment of connectivity without something being in it for them.