Dee Ann Divis
April 29, 2016
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is officially asking for feedback on a proposal by Ligado Networks to repurpose frequencies near the GPS band for a terrestrial broadband network. The long-delayed public notice and comment period is a step in the approval process, although there is no assurance that Ligado’s plan for a new wireless service — which may still cause interference to GPS receivers — will get the go-ahead.
The current proposal is similar to ones made when the firm was still called LightSquared but has a few additional elements. Of the two 10-megahertz bands closest to the GPS frequencies Ligado would formally abandon the 1545–1555 MHz downlink band, leaving it the 1526–1536 MHz band for downlinks. It would also reduce the effective isotropically radiated power (EIRP) limit for this band from 42 dBW to 32 dBW.
Ligado has also requested that it be allowed to share the 1675.0–1680.0 MHz band now used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It already has the frequencies from 1670.0 to 1675.0 MHz. Sharing would give it a total of 10-megahertz to make up for the frequencies it is abandoning.