Deployment of planned wireless broadband technologies is a critical threat to the operations of the Asia Pacific satellite industry's C-band (3.4 GHz – 3.7 GHz range) services and the industry's entire livelihood. The delegates and government officials were warned about it during the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) Satellite Industry Forum 2007 on June 18.
According to CASBAA, if regional administrations allocated C-band spectrum to much-hyped WiMAX services, the impact of a "spectrum grab" from Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) technologies could be disastrous.
"Indeed, the entire satellite industry in the Asia Pacific could be affected, with operators forced to shut down satellite services along with hundreds of TV channels. If this proposed bandwidth grab is finalised, the effects on the media and satellite industries could be catastrophic," said Simon Twiston Davies, CEO, CASBAA.
Barry Turner, GM, Engineering of AsiaSat, explained, "The severity of the interference from Broadband Wireless Access technology is now well understood, and in the countries where broadband wireless trials have been licensed, the "jamming" of satellite signals has blacked out numerous customers. It is telling that the ITU and BWA industry bodies already agree on the effects, now leaving each national administration to choose between killing satellite C-band or putting BWA in a different frequency band."
In addition to WiMAX, various 4G mobile telephony initiatives are targeting the entire range of C-Band spectrum in meetings of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), officials attending the meeting from India, China, Hong Kong, Pakistan and Singapore were warned.
Asia Pacific satellite industry leaders have been calling on governments to take a considered approach in the allocation of existing satellite services. Processes to consider such allocations are under way in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Australia, Taiwan and the Philippines, among others.