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Boeing joins battle over broadband satellites

Image: Satellite web
An artist’s conception shows a constellation of satellites in orbit. (Credit: OneWeb)

The Boeing Co. is laying out plans to put more than 1,000 satellites into low Earth orbit to provide broadband internet service – and it wants to make sure the Federal Communications Commission preserves the spectrum they’d use.

Boeing thus joins a debate that involves other would-be satellite constellation operators, including OneWeb and SpaceX, as well as the telecom ventures that are planning for 5G broadband mobile services. Like OneWeb and SpaceX, Boeing envisions using a satellite constellation to provide wide-ranging access to the internet and other high-speed data services.

“Next-generation broadband satellite systems can bridge the broadband gap because they are able to deliver advanced communications service to all users at the same cost regardless of location,” Boeing said this week in a filing with the FCC.

Boeing says the system it’s planning would use a range of the radio spectrum known as the V-band, plus another range called the C-band. The V-band is also being eyed by would-be 5G providers, but Boeing argues that the two types of services can co-exist.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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