Menu
Globalstar gets FCC approval after backing away from Wi-Fi

Globalstar gets FCC approval after backing away from Wi-Fi

After years of debate, the company's scaled-back wireless plan has been adopted

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has approved satellite operator Globalstar’s plan for a land-based wireless service using its own spectrum.

The approval on Friday came just a few weeks after Globalstar made the modified proposal, but the agency had spent years weighing the company’s original plan, which would have used part of the unlicensed 2.4GHz band that is mostly devoted to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other popular technologies.

Globalstar owns a license for 11.5MHz of spectrum next to the 2.4GHz band, which led the U.S. to set aside part of the unlicensed band as a buffer to prevent any Globalstar service from interfering with unlicensed services.

In 2012, the company asked for permission to combine its own spectrum with the “guard band” set aside in 2.4GHz so it could set up a service that might augment Wi-Fi. The new service would have made use of a part of the unlicensed band that isn’t available in the U.S., but Globalstar or a partner would have been able to control access to the spectrum.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler supported the plan, but critics said it would hurt Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Globalstar never got the votes it needed, and after the presidential election last month, which set the stage for a change of leadership at the FCC, the company dropped that plan for the less ambitious one that was adopted Friday. It says the proposal that was adopted will make more spectrum available to U.S. consumers and improve wireless broadband service.

“We look forward to a busy 2017 as we plan to put our terrestrial authority to use for American consumers and pursue similar authority internationally,” Globalstar Chairman and CEO Jay Monroe said in a press release.

Globalstar faces an uphill battle to build a network and a device ecosystem around its spectrum, which isn’t part of either the unlicensed or the traditional cellular world. It’s likely to make a deal with a bigger partner, like one of the major U.S. mobile operators, analysts say.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Leading figures within the technology industry across New Zealand came together to celebrate 30 years of success for Lexel Systems, at a milestone birthday occasion at St Matthews in the City.​

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30
Show Comments