The five-member Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to approve an order to allow Ligado Networks to deploy a low-power nationwide 5G network regardless of objections from the U.S. Defense Division, other federal agencies and major U.S. carriers
The telecommunications watchdog said Monday the approval order included stringent conditions aimed toward guaranteeing global positioning systems (GPS) wouldn’t experience harmful interference.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated via Twitter Friday that the “Ligado proposal would needlessly imperil GPS-dependent national safety capabilities.”
Ligado will have the ability to use the L-Band spectrum, for which it holds some licenses. The L-Band is also used for GPS and other navigation techniques as the signals can penetrate cloud cover.
Last Wednesday, Senate Armed Services Committee Chai Jim Inhofe and the panel’s top Democrat, Jack Reed, asked PresidentTrump to prohibit Ligado from moving forward, citing interference with GPS reception.
Ligado, the wireless satellite enterprise formerly known as LightSquared that emerged from bankruptcy in 2015, has been working for years to deploy a network utilizing spectrum in the L-Band to help telecom corporations to deploy 5G networks.