In a new development regarding the 5G spectrum auctions, the low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite operator OneWeb has told TRAI that there wasn’t any auction of spectrum for Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) in Brazil, and it is most likely not going to happen in Mexico, Saudi Arabia or Thailand as well. This submission from Bharti-backed satellite operator discredits the claims made by Jio that the auction of spectrum for broadband-from-space is gaining popularity across the globe. In a recent submission, Jio had rather urged TRAI to allocate spectrum for broadband-from-space services only via auctions following the global trend and “discard all demands” of global players who are looking for allocation of airwaves via the administrative process.
OneWeb Backs Administrative Process for Allocation
According to a report from ET Telecom, Chief of Government, Regulatory Affairs and Engagement for OneWeb Communications, Christopher McLaughlin has written a letter to TRAI without directly naming Jio, stating that a submission has claimed that auctions have been carried out in several countries but has confused either intentionally or mistakenly, the auction for domestic satellite orbital slots from that administration with its geostationary satellites.
In the submission made a few days ago, Jio also cited the examples of countries like Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Thailand and Brazil, which have opted for auctions as a mode of allocating spectrum. The telco stated that auctions of the spectrum are feasible and is also gaining popularity globally. OneWeb disproving the claim mentioned in the submission from Jio, stated that the company is already building earth station gateways in all the four mentioned countries and has even received spectrum authorization through the regular administrative process.
OneWeb also went on to state that the administrative process is the most common way of allocating spectrum for satellite service globally, and there’s no indication of the auction process replacing it a time soon. The counterclaim from OneWeb for the submission made by Jio is sure to pile on the latter’s ongoing battle with the global satellite players over the mode of allocating spectrum for satellite services. OneWeb has also stated that satellite service operators differ from terrestrial mobile operators as the second needs exclusive access to a particular spectrum range.
The LEO satellite operator said that FSS operators have the option of sharing spectrum through international coordination, particularly when the spectrum is being used at a spot location instead f nationwide, which is exactly the case for satellite earth stations. It is to be noted that Jio already has ongoing strife with the global satellite operators over the auctions of the sought-after 28 GHz mmWave spectrum band.