Ligado fires back at SNR, Northstar Wireless

Ligado Networks is telling the FCC that spectrum coordination issues raised by SNR Wireless are nothing new and either already have been addressed or can be addressed during the commission's proceeding on service rules for the 1675-1680 MHz band.

Ligado's assertions come after SNR and Northstar Wireless, two affiliates of Dish Network, filed objections to Ligado's proposal, saying it poses challenges and consequences for the use of AWS-3 spectrum.

Ligado has petitioned the FCC to repurpose the 1675-1680 MHz band for terrestrial downlink operations and in a recent filing asked the commission to move forward with reallocation and auction of the 1675-1680 MHz band, including license conditions that will permit the licensee to use that spectrum on a shared basis and in ways that accommodate the concerns of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Northstar said last week that Ligado's proposal raises problems because it doesn't take into account the potential for increased signal strength levels caused by Ligado's use, in addition to the existing uses. SNR also said the proposal has serious and negative consequences for the efficient use of the AWS-3 spectrum, which SNR and Northstar acquired last year.

Ligado took issue with several of SNR's claims and said SNR is mistaken when it suggests that the spectrum coordination issues it outlines are intractable and a reason for delay. Ligado wants the FCC to move forward with a Public Notice that would allow SNR and other parties like Northstar Wireless to get "any legitimate concerns" addressed in a timely fashion.

In its filing with the FCC, Ligado says SNR claims that the use of the 1675-1680 MHz band could cause consequences for efficient use of the AWS-3 band and that "[t]hese limitation were not contemplated by Auction 97 bidders like SNR."

However, "this statement suffers two flaws. The initial defect is revealed on the same page in the SNR letter, which goes on to state: 'In 2012, Ligado petitioned the [Commission] for a rulemaking to allow terrestrial mobile use of the 1675-1680 MH band.' Thus, SNR was aware, at least since 2012, of Ligado's pending petition to reallocate the 1675- 1680 MHz band to shared terrestrial use.

"Moreover, the President's Budget since that same time has contained a proposal to allocate this band to shared commercial use. SNR thus either knew about or at least had ample opportunity to discover the possible use of 1675-1680 MHz for terrestrial mobile use before it bid for its spectrum, under auction procedures that state clearly that bidders have due diligence obligations," Ligado states.

When it launched its new brand in February, Ligado said it was taking a big step forward for the predecessor company known as LightSquared. The company has made efforts to turn the page since emerging from bankruptcy last year, and its new vision is to use mid-band spectrum in order to "accelerate the delivery of advanced technology and next-generation mobile networks."

For more:
- see this filing

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