Ligado Plans to Go Forward With Launch


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The head of mobile satellite services operator Ligado Networks said this week his company will build on the FCC’s recent approval of the company’s application to sell ground-based wireless 5G service. Ligado Networks President/CEO Doug Smith did not mention the plan has received opposition from the Department of Defense, other federal agencies, and several members of Congress.

Speaking at WIA’s Connect (X) Tuesday, Ligado Networks President/CEO Doug Smith said his company’s network complements those of the national carriers. “With the economic challenges we’re facing right now, Ligado stands ‘shovel ready’ to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in advanced technology, deliver new services to the critical infrastructure sector, and support the creation of thousands of American jobs.”

In the near future, Ligado will take steps to enhance its MSS network for IoT and introduce new services, Smith said. It wants to use standards-based technology that’s used in existing networks to support IoT devices today, and deploy it on the company’s satellite networks—”allowing devices to move seamlessly between wireless towers and satellite networks, and meeting the requirements of next-generation IoT service to be ubiquitous and ultra-reliable.”

The company plans to modify its existing 3GPP Band—working with companies like Nokia, Ericsson, and Qualcomm—so Ligado’s spectrum is standardized for 5G. Ligado also intends to license its L-band spectrum and network services to industrial companies that need purpose-built and secure coverage, like the first responders and hospitals it works with now. “Essentially, we want to enable industrial companies to use the scale of technology that’s available to carriers like Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, while still offering them the ability to control the design, deployment, and operation of their mobile network,” Smith said. Ligado also wants to lease spectrum to mobile carriers as well.

Opponents say Ligado’s plans will interfere with GPS used by the DoD and other federal agencies, Inside Towers reported. Ligado has said it will protect GPS and Smith reiterated that Tuesday, without going into details. Before the end of the month, the DoD and other agencies plan to formally ask the FCC to reverse the authorization.

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