SpaceX says 5G expansion would make Starlink 'unusable' for most Americans
New York (CNN Business) SpaceX, Dish Network and other 5G providers are locked in a heated battle over radio frequencies, which SpaceX says it needs for its orbital internet service, Starlink, and which Dish says it needs for its own customers.
SpaceX is claiming that, if federal regulators allow 5G wireless networks to use a certain band of spectrum, it can cause widespread outages for its Starlink internet customers.
Spectrum refers to a range of radio frequencies, and federal regulators closely guard what companies are allowed to use which frequencies so that signals don't interfere with one another.
In a statement, SpaceX targeted Dish Network, which, though primarily known as a satellite TV company, also has a cellular network.
SpaceX claims that Dish has attempted to "mislead" the Federal Communications Commission, which allocates spectrum use across telecom companies, and put forward a "faulty analysis" in an attempt to prove that allowing Dish to expand its 5G network would not impact Starlink users.
When reached for comment, Dish said only that its "expert engineers are evaluating SpaceX's claims in the filing."
At the root of the standoff is the 12 GHz band, a slice of radio frequencies that are primarily used for services like Starlink and its satellite internet competitor OneWeb.