Thursday , 19 July 2018
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Globalstar gets FCC approval after backing away from Wi-Fi

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.

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