Advanced Television

Ligado, Omnispace merge satellite licences

February 24, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Ligado Networks and Omnispace have signed an MOU to combine their respective licensed mobile satellite services (MSS) spectrum to enable what they claim will be the world’s most capable space-based, direct-to-device (D2D) solutions for global voice, text and data connectivity.

The pair say that this means they will create large blocks of satellite spectrum in the L- and S-Bands, and that this agreement sets the stage for the development of multi-band, multi-orbit satellite offerings to enable ubiquitous mobile connectivity for more than 5 billion mobile subscribers in areas where terrestrial cellular coverage does not exist today.

The companies’ collaboration would use portions of Ligado’s 40 MHz of L-band satellite spectrum in the US and Canada and Omnispace’s 60 MHz of S-band satellite spectrum (3GPP 5G bands n255 and n256). The combination would bring together for the first time the largest block of satellite spectrum dedicated to meeting a global market need for text, voice and data capability.

3GPP is the mobile industry’s 3rd Generation Partnership Project.

The satellite spectrum assembled by the companies is licensed, 3GPP-standardised for non-terrestrial networks (NTN) and already in compliance with existing international ITU and US regulations. Additionally, the collaboration anticipates optimising multi-orbit geostationary (GEO) and non-geostationary (NGSO) networks to provide seamless, global coverage for D2D use cases across key markets, including consumer smartphone, automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.

“In many ways, this spectrum combination is the last missing piece to unlocking the full promise and potential of direct-to-device connectivity and creates the necessary foundation for an exceptional voice, text and data experience,” said Ram Viswanathan, President/CEO for Omnispace. “Together with Ligado, we will bring the spectrum and technology to deliver a game-changing solution directly from space to a variety of devices that could benefit billions of mobile subscribers worldwide.”

“We are pleased to partner with Omnispace in this initiative that has the potential to accelerate enhanced 5G non-terrestrial networks globally with coverage and bandwidth to support superior direct-to-device satellite connectivity,” added Doug Smith, President/CEO for Ligado Networks. “This an important step forward for Ligado’s satellite business. The addition of S-band solutions to our growing L-band portfolio of satellite services brings together an unrivaled amount of licensed satellite spectrum across multiple orbits. Together we are able to establish a premier, one-stop shop global footprint for ecosystem partners and global MNOs to offer premium services for billions of mobile subscribers worldwide.”

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