Ligado pressures FCC for decision on network plan - Mobile World Live

Ligado pressures FCC for decision on network plan

26 JUN 2019

Ligado Networks again petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to rule on its plan to deploy a 5G network, this time invoking a US law which requires prompt decision-making from regulators.

In a filing, the company complained its proposal has languished in limbo for three and a half years, despite a mandate in Section 7 of the Communications Act demanding the FCC rule on applications within one year of filing.

It urged the agency to “fulfill its statutory obligation, tune out the political noise from those who ignore the facts…and promptly approve” its application.

On a call with journalists, Ligado Networks chief legal officer Valerie Green noted enforcement of Section 7 is one of FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s stated priorities, adding “our goal is to bring this process to an end and move it to approval.”

She said the company continues preparations with technology partners including Nokia and Ericsson to ensure it can move ahead with deployments as soon as the FCC gives the green light.

Delays
After emerging from bankruptcy in 2015, Ligado Networks sought permission from the FCC to use 40MHz of its mid-band spectrum to deploy 5G and IoT services. The proposal initially received pushback from parties concerned about interference with GPS, but the company said those concerns have been addressed in its latest plan.

In a statement, Ligado Networks CEO Doug Smith blasted what he described as “a web of government delays and indecision” which have held up progress. He added: “Industries in need of spectrum simply cannot wait any longer. Ligado cannot wait, and the US will not win the 5G race by waiting.”

Earlier this year, the FCC proposed opening for commercial use 5MHz of spectrum adjacent to Ligado Networks’ holdings. The company said in its filing it would make an “obvious motivated bidder,” but warned the FCC’s continued indecision could prevent it from taking part in an auction of those airwaves.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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