June 5, 2017–Ligado Networks LLC today renewed its call for FCC action to enable it to deploy a nationwide LTE network. “The Commission can unlock 40 megahertz of mid-band spectrum, drive forward the transition to 5G, and hasten development of the Internet of Things (‘IoT’) by taking two closely related actions: (1) approving the spectrum plan and license modification applications submitted by Ligado Networks in December 2015, and (2) issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking outlining the terrestrial use of adjacent spectrum currently allocated only for government use. These companion decisions will enable the use of 40 megahertz of greenfield spectrum,” the company said in a filing in IB dockets 11-109 and 12-340. “Once this spectrum is available, Ligado plans to build a unique network that will maximize the capabilities of both the satellite and terrestrial spectrum by integrating them to achieve new levels of reliability, security, and pervasiveness that can be achieved only by using both capabilities.”
The filing added that assuming the FCC “takes these actions promptly, Ligado expects to raise money in capital markets and invest those funds in our Nation’s infrastructure. Ligado will invest up to $800 million … to begin to deploy a network uniquely suited to bringing 5G and IoT to railroads, trucking, autonomous vehicles, drones, and other critical infrastructure industries. These investments can create at least 8,000 new jobs.
“As reflected in the record, the major GPS firms have indicated that they do not object to grant of the applications and Ligado’s deployment of a terrestrial network with the power limits stated in the pending applications,” the filing added. “Three extensive engineering tests have been conducted in search of possible impact on the installed base of GPS devices, involving over 5,000 hours of lab tests: one by an expert firm retained by Ligado, one by a facility sponsored jointly by the Department of Commerce and Department of Defense, and one by the Department of Transportation (DOT). All three tests have vindicated the judgment of the GPS firms: Devices in every category of the GPS ecosystem would not experience actual harm if Ligado were permitted to deploy a terrestrial network in accordance with the proposed parameters. GPS devices are highly functioning resilient equipment that can easily co-exist with the network proposed by Ligado.”
Ligado also said that “[t]he issue raised late in the proceeding by Iridium relates to only 10 megahertz of the 40 megahertz in the plan. Ligado’s current proposal is consistent with the Commission’s 2003 ATC Order, and the company is also willing to have additional discussions to resolve this issue as well.” —Paul Kirby, email@example.com