Microsoft gets OK from FCC to conduct tests related to Globalstar's TLPS

Perhaps to settle questions once and for all – if that's possible – Microsoft can proceed with plans to test terrestrial use of the 2483.5-2500 MHz Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) band currently assigned for use by Globalstar.

Tweeted by wireless industry consulting engineer Steve Crowley, the FCC granted Microsoft's request for experimental Special Temporary Authorization (STA) that it submitted on May 11. Microsoft said it wants to do the tests in Redmond, Washington.

In its application, Microsoft said it would test terrestrial operations in the 2473-2483.5 MHz unlicensed band and the adjacent 2483.5-2500 MHz band, consistent with Globalstar's proposal to operate a terrestrial low-power service (TLPS) on these frequencies nationwide. Microsoft wants to quantify the effect of such operations on the performance and reliability of unlicensed operations in the 2.4 GHz ISM band.

Globalstar is urging the FCC to adopt rules proposed in November 2013 that would allow it to provide TLPS in its own licensed spectrum and in adjacent, unlicensed spectrum. The company says by doing so, it can help relieve some of the congestion that Wi-Fi services are experiencing.

Microsoft previously has blasted Globalstar for making misleading claims that tests showed no interference between TLPS and Wi-Fi, nor with TLPS and Bluetooth operations in the 2.4 GHz ISM band. Microsoft also pointed out that Globalstar's Chicago and FCC Technology Experience Center demonstrations used an enterprise-grade Ruckus model, which Microsoft doesn't think is representative of most of the Wi-Fi access points out there in the world.

Microsoft says it will use several different devices in its tests, including gear from Ruckus Wireless and Linksys and devices that include the Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ and Google Nexus 7 and 9.

Globalstar continues to push for its proposal amidst push-back from the likes Google, Microsoft, the Hearing Industries Association (HIA) and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). The HIA especially is concerned that TLPS will interfere with Bluetooth Low Energy hearing aid devices.

The FCC recently informed Globalstar that an order in its proceeding has been circulated and is now pending action by the full commission. Globalstar said it looks forward to the commission adopting a final order authorizing Globalstar's TLPS.  

For more:
- see this filing and this grant

Related articles:
FCC circulates order on Globalstar's TLPS proposal
Microsoft slams Globalstar's latest claim of no TLPS interference with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Wi-Fi Alliance, Bluetooth SIG want FCC to end Globalstar proceeding