FCC allows Ligado to use L-Band for IIoT and 5G networks. In particular, FCC will permit Ligado Networks to use L-Band spectrum at 16GHz for a low-power terrestrial network. Such a network will ideally enable a plethora of IIoT and 5G services. “The vote at the Commission reflects the broad, bipartisan support that this order has received”, said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “This vote is another step forward for American leadership in 5G and advanced wireless services.”
Needless to say, this is a major leap forward for Ligado Networks. President & CEO Doug Smith commented:
“Ligado thanks the Commissioners for moving promptly to approve the order regarding our applications. We greatly appreciate their unanimous support as well as the expert engineering analysis determining that a terrestrial network can be deployed in the L-band to advance our country’s economic and security interests while fully protecting GPS.
Our spectrum can be very instrumental in the transition to 5G, and we look forward to utilising satellite and terrestrial services to deploy customised private networks and deliver innovative, next-generation IoT solutions for the industrial sector.”
The news that the FCC allows Ligado to use L-Band for IIoT and 5G has received harsh criticism. Especially by the network experts and by the Department of Defense. In fact, this move might endanger the GPS network. The Executive Director of the GPS Innovation Alliance David Grossman said that FCC ignored “the well-documented views of the expert agencies charged with preserving the integrity of GPS, specifically on the critical issue of what constitutes harmful interference to users of Global Navigation Satellite Systems.” Defense Secretary Mark Esper added that the DoD “continues to support domestic 5G options, but not at the risk of crippling our GPS networks. Nearly a dozen other federal agencies have joined us in opposing this proposal.”
Also worth mentioning, the FCC bound the approval to the condition of no interference with GPS. Also, it will limit Ligado to a 23-MHz guard band. This in addition to limiting downlink power operations and which portions of the band Ligado uses.