FCC rejects petition to stay Ligado Network’s 5G rollout

The Federal Communications Commission rejected by a vote of 3-2 on Tuesday to freeze the rollout of Ligado Networks’ nationwide mobile broadband network.

In May, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration filed a request with the FCC on behalf of executive branch agencies, including the Defense and Transportation departments, arguing the commission’s approval would cause “irreparable harms to federal government users” of global positioning systems (GPS).

Outgoing FCC chairman Ajit Pai stated it “imposed stringent conditions” to protect incumbent users in the band when it cleared Ligado Networks’ plan in April 2020, adding “the technical evidence in our record continues to demonstrate that the FCC made the correct decision”.

The FCC said Ligado’s deployment plans are not yet finalized and they were talking with the U.S. agencies about the network’s potential impact on government GPS systems.

5G Ligado Network

“We must continue to move forward to ensure next-generation wireless services are available, and to do so, we must put this long-underused spectrum to its best use,” Pai said in a statement. “My colleagues and I unanimously adopted the order after more than a decade of delay across several Administrations. That order imposed stringent conditions in order to protect incumbent users, including GPS services and Pentagon operations that operate outside this band, I thank all of my colleagues for voting on this order with dispatch—on the same day it was circulated—and enabling the Commission to reaffirm that order, which is in the best interest of the American people.”

The Air Line Pilots Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, International Air Transport Association and Airlines for America, Iridium Communications and Lockheed Martin last year also filed petitions asking the FCC to reconsider.

The NTIA sought the FCC’s clearance in two separate petitions, one asking it to reconsider the decision and another seeking a block on Ligado Networks going ahead until the outcome of the first request was known.

The FCC noted that Ligado must give a six months’ notice to GPS manufacturers before activation, negotiate network partnership agreements, and secure $800 million in the capital markets to fund its infrastructure build-out.

FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington, who voted to reject the stay, said the agency is yet to go into the reconsideration request by all the government and private organizations but believed the bid was “unlikely to succeed on the merits”. He noted, Congress required a definitive technical review of the Ligado spectrum order by the National Academies of Sciences.

“There is sufficient time to develop a conclusive scientific record on broadly accepted standards and thus to make disinterested, rigorous public policy,” Simington said.

The Commission unanimously adopted its Order and Authorization in April 2020.

Ligado Networks raised $3.85 billion to fuel plans to deploy 5G services using L-band spectrum in October 2020. The company said it will use the money to integrate IoT technology into its satellite service capabilities and developing an “innovative private network solution” for the enterprise and industrial sectors.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that Ligado Networks was seeking fresh funding from investors to avoid filing for bankruptcy for a second time. It seems that it has amassed serious debt, which has matured as it waited for years to gain approval for L band from regulators.

Subscribe to the nation’s fastest-growing business magazine to get the latest business news delivered to your inbox.

(Image: Freepik)

Anna Domanska
Anna Domanska is an Industry Leaders Magazine author possessing wide-range of knowledge for Business News. She is an avid reader and writer of Business and CEO Magazines and a rigorous follower of Business Leaders.

Recent Posts

Supply chain crisis bad news for automotive industry leaders

Supply chain crisis bad news for automotive industry leaders

The world’s biggest car companies are on track to lose production of 7.7 million vehicles in 2021. The forecast advices automakers on supply chain and other issues.
1 day ago
Scammers dupe Apple fans with free bitcoin lure

Scammers dupe Apple fans with free bitcoin lure

Savvy scammers used a fake event stream, a fake Apple website, and the promise of free bitcoin to lure fans into opening up their wallets.
2 days ago
Japan’s MUFG offloads Union Bank to U.S. Bancorp for $7.3 billion

Japan’s MUFG offloads Union Bank to U.S. Bancorp for $7.3 billion

The total amount of cash to be received as part of MUFG Union Bank’s sale to Bancorp is $7.3 billion (800 billion yen).
3 days ago
Evergrande: A black swan event that could spook markets

Evergrande: A black swan event that could spook markets

EverGrande is now known as the “world’s most indebted property developer” and serves as a symbol of corporate excess.
4 days ago
Moderna vaccine more effective than Pfizer, study says

Moderna vaccine more effective than Pfizer, study says

Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine does a slightly better job of preventing coronavirus-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
6 days ago
iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro: Specifications, Release Date, Features and much more

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro: Specifications, Release Date, Features and much more

Apple iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max can be a hit with its ever new technology A15 Bionic chip and other cool profound features.
1 week ago