The FCC is seeking technical studies from commenting parties, and has a 75 day deadline after publication in the Federal Register in January or February 2014.
Globalstar envisions both low-power access points and end-user devices operating within the 22 megahertz band designated as Channel 14 (2473-2495 MHz). Globalstar would control who has access to the channel.
Globalstar said the proposed new rules would allow it to provide terrestrial broadband services over its 11.5 MHz of previously-licensed S-band spectrum at 2483.5-2495 MHz, as well as the adjacent 10.5 MHz of unlicensed spectrum at 2473-2483.5 MHz.
In the United States, devices using unlicensed IEEE 802.11 operate in the 2400-2483.5 MHz band. Devices at 2473-2495 MHz (IEEE 802.11 Channel 14) are currently prohibited in the United States. Globalstar would control 2483.5-2500 MHz channel as a “restricted band” for unlicensed purposes.
GlobalStar isn’t proposing to make their spectrum into a “free” channel, available for the general public to use. Some worry that the new channel could impact the adjacent WiFi Channel 11. Users of ordinary 2.4 GHz WiFi (which stops at 2483 Mhz), may find that their 3rd channel (Ch 11), now could have an adjoining interferer from Globalstar.
Globalstar argues its low-power broadband network will enhance the commercial viability of its satellite network, and spectrum leases could cover the capital costs of deploying 20,000 free access points to public and non-profit schools, community colleges and hospitals in the United States. GlobalStar say it will also offer MSS free to customers for the duration of a federally declared disaster.
Globalstar uses 1610-1618.725 MHz for uplinks. But satphones are rarely used in urban areas (or indoors) so it’s apparently not a big problem for Globalstar.
“The FCC’s release of Globalstar’s requested Notice of Proposed Rulemaking last Friday represents a seminal development and yet another step forward in Globalstar’s renaissance,” said Jay Monroe, the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to receiving the public’s comments and working towards a final order over the next several months.”
The unlicensed 2.4 GHz band isn’t the only WiFi band to get “expanded” capacity. The unlicensed 5 GHz band is getting another 200MHz as well.
Under current FCC regulations, U-NII devices are authorized to use 555 megahertz of spectrum in the 5150-5350 MHz and the 5470-5825 MHz bands. About 195 MHz in the 5 GHz band (5350-5470) and (5850-5925) MHz (pdf) may soon become available. The 5.9 GHz band is currently dedicated to highway use for the Intelligent Transportation System.
But some of that new 5 GHz is currently used by ship radar. A channel that has been flagged as containing a radar system, either by a channel availability check or in-service monitoring, is subject to a non-occupancy period of at least 30 minutes. U-NII devices would employ a radar detection mechanism to detect the presence of radar systems and to avoid co-channel operation with radar systems.
A similar system is used to expand the capacity of the 3 GHz band.
As part of its mandate to expand spectrum, the FCC is auctioning some 120 MHz in the 600 MHz band next year, will auction the “H” block in the PCS band, will provide access to “white spaces” in unused television frequencies, is enabling spectrum “sharing” in the 3.5 GHz band, is providing an additional 200 MHz in the unlicensed 5 GHz band, and boosting power capabilities in the unlicensed 60 GHz band.
Related Dailywireless articles include; , Amazon & Globalstar Test Wireless Service, GlobalStar Promotes “Licensed” WiFi in 2.4 GHz band,GlobalStar Gets Flack on New 2.4 GHz Channel, Globalstar: Voice is Back!, FCC Moves to Add 195 MHz to Unlicensed 5 GHz band, FCC Adding 200 MHz to WiFi Band, FCC Paves Way for 3.5GHz Band Nationwide, Spectrum Database Opens Up 5GHz, Spectrum War: Unlicensed, Shared and Auctioned, White Spaces: Nationwide by Mid January, FCC: TV Auction in 2014, Incentive Auctions: Going Nuclear, AT&T Fears FCC’s Incentive Auction Plans, FCC Moves on TV Frequency Auction, Google and Microsoft Want UK White Space?, Microsoft Announced Narrow Channel Whitespace, FCC Authorizes White Space Service in Wilmington,