Statement | June 25, 2019

Ligado Networks CEO Doug Smith Statement on Section 7 Petition

“For the past three-and-a-half years, Ligado Networks has worked with industry and government stakeholders on a plan that will finally unlock our lower mid-band spectrum for 5G. We have participated in testing, analysis, studies, workshops, reviews, and meetings, and time after time, we have accepted the burden to resolve concerns by modifying our plan. We have patiently waited for an FCC decision allowing our company to make additional investments that industries here in America so desperately need.

“But we can only wait so long – especially when we are no longer debating substance – technology led by the smartphone industry resolved that nearly a decade ago – but waiting because of politics. Industries in need of spectrum simply cannot wait any longer. Ligado cannot wait, and the U.S. will not win the 5G race by waiting.

“Earlier this morning, Ligado petitioned the Commission under Section 7 to urge prompt action on our new approach to providing connectivity – a new service proposed three-and-a-half years ago. At issue is 40 MHz of greenfield lower mid-band spectrum uniquely positioned to give the U.S. a major boost in the race to 5G. Our lower mid-band spectrum is ready to support new innovation and services right away; no other band under consideration is as ready to deploy in the near term. Our combined approach to technology and private network deployment will transform key industries like manufacturing, agriculture, commercial transportation, and utilities. Our mid-band spectrum not only provides coverage and capacity but also delivers the power and strength necessary to vastly transform America’s digital infrastructure. Everyone – scientists, engineers, politicians, Republicans, Democrats, industry, government – have agreed that lower mid-band spectrum is ideal for 5G. But the United States is currently lagging behind China and South Korea in unlocking mid-band spectrum, and unless something changes, we are in danger of losing the race.

“Despite the urgency of 5G deployment, Ligado has spent the past three-and-a-half years waiting to use our long-ago licensed spectrum to help deploy 5G for the country’s critical infrastructure sectors. However, after bending over backwards to comply with government testing, requests, process and more process, Ligado’s application remains trapped in a web of government delays and indecision. The result is prime mid-band spectrum languishing at a time when U.S. leadership in 5G simply can’t afford it.

“This Section 7 petition makes clear that it is time for action that will put our nation’s 5G economic and national security needs first and above politics before it’s too late.”

About Ligado Networks

Making connections is Ligado’s core mission. Our vision is to modernize American infrastructure by connecting the Industrial Internet of Things. With our current state-of-the-art satellite technology and plans to deploy Custom Private Networks for the businesses that keep this country running, we’re paving the way for future innovations.


For further information:

Ligado Networks Media Contact:
Ashley Durmer, SVP, Government Relations & Corporate Communications
Tel: 703-390-2008