Advanced Television

Ligado under threat from US senators

August 23, 2022

Ligado Networks is planning a US terrestrial wireless system using L-band (1526-1536 MHz) and is hoping to start services on or after September 30th this year. However, there are allegations that its service is potentially interfering with GPS signals.

London-based Inmarsat has some potentially valuable agreements with Ligado which uses Inmarsat spectrum over the US.

Now, an influential group of US senators has written to the FCC to hold the existing permission to launch. The FCC granted its approval back in April 2020. Ligado started life as LightSquared and acquired SkyTerra Communications in 2010.

Ligado raised some $3.85 billion in 2020 to fund its activity.

“We remain gravely concerned that the Ligado order fails to adequately protect adjacent band operations — including those related to GPS and satellite communications — from harmful interference impacting countless military and commercial activities,” the letter reads. “We urge you to set aside the Ligado order and give proper consideration to the widely held concerns across the executive branch, within Congress, and from the private sector regarding the expected impact of the Ligado order on national security and other systems.”

The senator’s objections are not alone. The Satellite Safety Alliance has also jumped into the argument, saying: “The grave concerns expressed in the letter reflect the overwhelming concern shared by 14 federal agencies and a vast federal and commercial user base of GPS, satellite communications, and weather forecasting services. This letter comes at a critical time, and we agree that the FCC must act quickly to address the imminent — but preventable — harm from Ligado’s proposed terrestrial network.”

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