United States: FCC rejects SpaceX’s bid for more spectrum

Mar 29, 2024 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this week rejected SpaceX’s bid to use the 1.6GHz and 2GHz radio spectrums due to a technicality. SpaceX's satellite division Starlink, had been seeking approval to use up to 7,500 second-generation satellites with spectrum in the 1.6 GHz, 2 GHz, and 2.4 GHz bands to provide mobile services.

The FCC said, “The SpaceX requests do not substantially comply with Commission requirements established in rulemaking proceedings which determined that the 1.6/2.4 GHz and 2 GHz bands are not available for additional MSS applications. Absent such a rulemaking to address any changed circumstances, we conclude that the 2 GHz bands are not available for licensing an additional MSS system. Therefore, the Modification Application's request to operate in these bands is not in substantial compliance with Commission requirements and is unacceptable for filing."

The FCC further noted that SpaceX's petition has been substantial enough to require "a new rulemaking to determine whether there is additional availability for another CDMA MSS system in the 1.6/2.4 GHz bands, and if so, what operating criteria would be appropriate for that system."