The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) weighed a move to make more spectrum available for 5G, opening a public consultation on whether to allow mobile services in the 12GHz band.

In a statement, the agency explained the band is currently used by satellite service providers and sought input on whether it would be possible to share the frequency with terrestrial mobile services without causing harmful interference.

The FCC also asked for comment on approaches to assigning usage rights; potential sharing mechanisms; and the public interest benefits of either keeping the existing satellite-focused framework or accommodating new services.

Outgoing FCC chairman Ajit Pai stated “technical studies will undoubtedly be submitted from all sides”, adding the agency will “scrutinise the arguments and data in the record and be guided by the evidence and sound engineering”.

Dish Network and industry group the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) backed the move.

However, it faced opposition from satellite communications providers OneWeb and SpaceX, which already deployed hundreds of satellites using the 12GHz frequency and was recently awarded nearly $1 billion in US government funding to deliver internet connectivity.