At Ligado, we’ve been working for a long time to deploy 40 MHz of mid-band spectrum to offer new services that will revolutionize how many of America’s critical industries approach technology and communications. We know there’s a great opportunity to help make critical infrastructure more reliable, efficient and safe for consumers, and we know that this spectrum is vital to our nation’s 5G future.
Like with any new wireless service, it is important to find ways for this new service to coexist with existing services. As technology continues to advance and spectrum demand continues to increase, this will become even more important. That’s why we’ve never wavered from our commitment to protecting GPS and collaborated with all stakeholders to incorporate input and satisfy concerns.
Today, we’re fulfilling that commitment. This morning, we filed an amendment to our pending license modification with the Federal Communications Commission that protects certified aviation GPS devices by reducing the power level at which certain of our downlink connections will operate. This change reflects our collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration and honors our pledge to find consensus with government and industry actors.
Importantly, this change maintains our technological capability to provide highly-advanced network services to customers. By focusing on targeted deployments that deliver highly secure and ultra-reliable communications over custom private networks, Ligado will serve the industrial Internet of Things and the emerging 5G markets, particularly in critical infrastructure industry sectors such as rail, trucking, utilities, public safety, and oil and gas.
The direct impact of these next-generation networks on our communities is what drives us to persevere in making them a reality. Next-generation wireless networks – connecting an entire new category of IoT-enabled devices, sensors, and machines – are projected to create three million new jobs and give the economy a $500 billion boost. Our 40 MHz of mid-band spectrum will help get our country there and regain ground in the global race to 5G.
Secretary Ross, Administrator Redl and Chairman Pai have all shown great leadership on 5G. As Chairman Pai recently said, “… the path to 5G is fast-paced and volatile. It will require focus and determination from all of us; coasting isn’t an option. But if we rise to the challenge, we can ensure that the United States remains the best place for wireless innovation and investment. We can spur new innovations to grow our economy and improve our quality of life. We can help close the digital divide and extend digital opportunity to all Americans, no matter where they live.”
Ligado’s plan is a win-win for the country and for all who are interested in having a robust GPS ecosystem and being competitive in the race to 5G. We stand ready to unleash hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment in building this important part of our nation’s infrastructure, and the commitments we made today bring us one step closer to making these economic and public interest benefits a reality.
Valerie Green is Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Ligado Networks