Globalstar gets approval to build low-power terrestrial network with its satellite spectrum at 2.4 GHz

The FCC has approved Globalstar’s request to build a terrestrial wireless network using 11.5 megahertz of its satellite spectrum at 2483.5-2495 MHz.

“We thank the Commissioners, their staff and the staff of the Bureaus and Offices who worked tirelessly to bring this proceeding to a successful conclusion. We look forward to a busy 2017 as we plan to put our terrestrial authority to use for American consumers and pursue similar authority internationally,” Globalstar CEO Jay Monroe said in a release from the company.

Globalstar said the move would “make more broadband spectrum available to, and improve wireless broadband service for, consumers in the United States.”

In a short release of its own, the FCC said simply that it approved the “Terrestrial Use of the 2473-2495 MHz Band for Low-Power Mobile Broadband Networks.”

The ruling appears to bring to a close a long and contentious fight between Globalstar and a wide range of cellular and Wi-Fi players, including Sprint and CableLabs. Opponents to Globalstar’s proposal, initially launched in 2012, argued that the company’s plans to build a Terrestrial Low Power Service (TLPS) would create interference in nearby bands, including in Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum.

However, Globalstar issued a revised proposal in November that dropped plans to use a 22 MHz Wi-Fi Channel 14. That revised proposal appeared to have appeased many of the initial critics to Globalstar’s plans.

Globalstar has argued that its satellite spectrum is located adjacent to the public Wi-Fi Band and can be easily utilized to “increase the nation's Wi-Fi capacity by a full third, providing a much better wireless experience to the millions of consumers who now depend daily on mobile broadband capabilities for work and play.”