Having something patented doesn't assure that it is economically and technically feasible to manufacture and use it.
Having a license gives them the right to use it if they figure out how to make it work but I'm not sure how they plan to receive the signal is a criteria of getting the license.
Yes, I think that DIRECTV has squatted on licenses that it hasn't effectively used for long periods of time at one time or another. In a few cases they've even gone to the trouble of implementing them in space.
And what exactly makes this "spectrum squatting?"
DIRECTV applied for and was granted a modification to it's Ka band license at 101 back in '04 for back-hauling of local channels to and between their broadcast centers.
*See FCC File for DIRECTV 8, SAT-MOD-20040630-00128 (rel. Nov. 4, 2004).
The FCC granted this authorization to modify because because it helps facilitate the provision of LiL channels to subscribers, though indirectly.
I think a fairer question harsh would be to ask something to the effect of;
"What makes you feel DIRECTV has any real interest switching the use of their Ka band license at 101 from back-hauling purposes to supplying direct satellite feeds to subscribers?"
"How do you know DIRECTV does not feel that with the successful deployments of D14 and 15, they will have more than sufficient Ka band capacity at 99 and 103 for direct subscriber feeds to make the addition of the Ka band at 101 for this unnecessary for the expense involved" or some other.
Not mere accusations of spectrum squatting since they have practical way to receive Ka from 101.
Edited by HoTat2, 18 November 2013 - 07:49 PM.