In The News

In The News | Real Clear Defense | Dennis Roberson | May 6, 2020

FCC’s Approval of Ligado Networks Advances 5G While Protecting GPS

Last week, the five Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), by a unanimous bipartisan vote, endorsed the expert conclusion of its engineers and their years of technical study and analysis to adopt a spectrum plan that will advance our nation’s path to 5G while protecting incumbents and especially GPS users.

The decision to approve Ligado’s plans to utilize its L-band spectrum for terrestrial applications is right on the physics, based on the facts, and firmly rooted in administrative law and the role of an independent agency. Those facts include thousands of hours of testing performed at a National Institute of Standards and Technology lab in Boulder, CO – sponsored by the Departments of Defense and Commerce – and similar testing for Ligado that my company conducted in early 2016. These tests focused on the harmful interference standard the FCC’s rules use to protect GPS devices (and other wireless services) – namely whether the accuracy of GPS device functions – position, navigation and timing – would be affected by the proposed spectrum plan. The test results from the DOD-DOC sponsored lab and our efforts were presented to the Commission and showed that GPS devices would not be affected by the spectrum plan, and these tests were thoroughly analyzed in the FCC’s decision.

The FCC also had in the docket and considered a study performed by the Department of Transportation – which studied not the requirement in the FCC’s rules (namely whether other spectrum usage would affect the operations of a GPS device) – but, instead, it attempted to study whether a GPS device would experience a small, largely unmeasurable change (1 dB) in the background noise environment. The FCC decision carefully analyzed each of these studies as it made its decision on the Ligado spectrum proposal.

Read the full article at Real Clear Defense.