Tuesday, April 21, 2020

FCC Approves Ligado’s 5G Network Over Protests

UPDATE The FCC Monday unanimously voted to approve an order to allow satellite company Ligado to deploy a low-power nationwide 5G network. Ligado is the wireless satellite venture formerly known as LightSquared that emerged from bankruptcy in 2015. The vote came despite protests from the Defense Department, 12 other federal agencies and major U.S. airlines. The Wireless Infrastructure Association praised the decision.

Ligado will be able to use the L-Band spectrum, which is also used for GPS and other navigation systems because the signals can penetrate cloud cover. The Commission said the approval order includes strict conditions aimed at ensuring global positioning systems would not experience harmful interference.

But last week, the federal agencies and airlines said it would interfere, Inside Towers reported. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said via Twitter on Friday that the “Ligado proposal would needlessly imperil GPS-dependent national security capabilities.” Continue Reading

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