Skip to Main Content
May 13, 2020
Brattle Economists Comment on the FCC's Recent Approval of Ligado Network's L-Band Application

Brattle Principal Coleman Bazelon and Senior Consultant Paroma Sanyal have published a commentary on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) recent approval of Ligado Networks’s application to deploy a low-power nationwide terrestrial network in the L-Band.

With the increase in technological connectedness and the onset of COVID-19, mobile subscriptions and Internet of Things (IOT) connections are expected to greatly increase in the coming years. However, Ligado’s ownership of spectrum bands around the GPS spectrum, known as the radionavigation satellite spectrum (RNSS), has been a controversial topic, as Ligado’s spectrum usage could affect GPS activities.

Because of these concerns, Ligado has agreed to reduce power levels and to avoid operating terrestrial networks adjacent to the GPS spectrum. This drives down the potential cost of allowing low-power terrestrial deployment nearly to zero. The approved order also ensures there is a 23 megahertz (MHz) guard band to protect the RNSS. By approving Ligado’s application, the FCC has taken steps towards fulfilling the 2010 Presidential Initiative to make additional spectrum available and advancing a more connected economy.

The full commentary, “A Path to Greater Connectedness,” is located below.