To Preserve Spectrum Going Forward, Collaboration is Key
By Gonzalo de Dios, Associate General Counsel
The fifth annual Americas Spectrum Management Conference, organized by Forum Global, took place last week in Washington, D.C. The conference included a diverse mix of stakeholders from the Americas involved in the management and coordination of spectrum policy, a critical issue for Intelsat and the satellite industry.
During the conference, I participated in a panel discussion on the outcomes of the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15), held in Geneva last November and what it means for the satellite industry going forward.
During the discussion, I addressed the two issues that were most pressing for the satellite industry: safeguarding access to C-band frequencies and preserving access to Ka-band spectrum.
While the satellite industry was successful in preserving the C-band and Ku-band spectrums, the decisions at WRC-15 highlight the increasing demand for more spectrum from across all layers of the communications landscape. The broader question that is lingering from WRC-2015 is how – and if – the differing segments of the telecommunications industry will work together to address possibilities for co-existence. From the satellite perspective, our goal is to ensure protection for existing and future services, and ensuring the ability to innovate and grow in the frequency bands utilized by the satellite industry.
This imperative only grows in urgency as the demand for mobile and broadband services increases. From connecting the nearly 4 billion persons that remain unconnected to the 50 billion devices that are projected to be connected by 2020, we still need to solve how the emerging communications ecosystem can coordinate to address future service demands and broadband connectivity requirements around the world.
The panel was moderated by Carmelo Rivera, Vice-Chair of the CITEL Working Group for Preparation of WRC-15 and Chair of the Working Group for Preparation of WRC-19. Additional participants included Mindel De La Torre (Chief, International Bureau, FCC), Audrey Allison (Director, Frequency Management, Boeing), Chis Pearson (President, 4G Americas), and Winston Caldwell (Vice President, Spectrum Engineering, Advanced Engineering, Fox Networks Group).
The various panelists all brought different points of view to this important topic, but it underscored the need to work together and not against one another to maximize the utility of spectrum, one of our most valuable resources. There is a thirst for better understanding for the spectrum requirements for next generation mobile broadband communications, and all of the telecommunications industry – mobile, fixed and satellite – must collaborate to develop solutions that ensure and promote global connectivity.