Ligado's proposal raises more concerns about impact on AWS-3

Another Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) affiliate, this time Northstar Wireless, is asking the FCC to carefully consider "complications" as it considers Ligado Networks' proposal to use the 1675-1680 MHz band for terrestrial mobile downlink transmissions. Such a plan introduces "meaningful challenges" regarding the efficient use of the recently licensed AWS-3 spectrum, according to Northstar's filing with the FCC.

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).

"In short, Ligado's proposal raises problems because the proposal does not take into account the potential for increased signal strength levels caused by Ligado's use, in addition to the existing uses," Northstar said in its filing. "If the Ligado contribution is allowed in the interference budget, then it could have a detrimental impact on AWS-3 licensees. Northstar Wireless urges the Commission to consider this impact, and the potential for other interference related issues, while examining Ligado's proposal."

While AT&T (NYSE: T) also acquired spectrum in the AWS-3 auction, it is not affected by the issues raised by the Dish affiliates. "The frequencies that may be impacted by the Ligado proposal are in the A1 and B1 unpaired AWS-3 bands," an AT&T spokesman told FierceWirelessTech. "We did not purchase any of those blocks so this 'issue' does not impact AT&T."

Northstar Wireless is one of two Dish designated entities – SNR Wireless being the other one -- that bid in the FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction last year, hoping to receive a 25 percent small business credit, but the FCC ruled that they should not receive the discount since the agency said they were effectively controlled by Dish.

SNR previously registered its concerns with the FCC, saying Ligado's proposal presents several difficult interference issues for AWS-3 licensees in the 1695-1710 MHz band that haven't been considered by the commission or any other authority. SNR spelled out a number of problems with the proposal, including base station-to-base station interference.

After emerging from bankruptcy and settling interference disputes with three GPS vendors, LightSquared announced earlier this year that is was rebranding as Ligado Networks. 

For more:
- see this filing

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