Ligado Ink deals with 5G Mavenir base station

Ligado Networks, whose mission is to deploy 5G mobile satellite networks for IoT, has announced a contract with Mavenir for the development of base stations.

This was announced in June when Ligado announced that it would work with Mavenir to develop an Open Radio Access Network (RAN) compliant remote radio unit and cloud-native open RAN software compatible with Ligado’s L-band spectrum. . It’s the one that follows. With the latest agreement, the two companies are entering a phase that includes non-terrestrial networks.

Ligado recently received approval from 3GPP for a new technical specification allowing the use of L-band spectrum in 5G. Ligado said working within 3GPP will help satellite and terrestrial networks work in harmony.

Related: Ligado Gets 5G 3GP PL Band Approval

Rigad CEO Doug Smith said, “Ubiquitous network coverage and reliability is particularly important for critical device communications, making 5G satellite IoT networks a critical tool for providing connectivity and management. constant data across corporate devices. to augment.”

Per possession in the 1.6 GHz band Rigad fought for years for the right to use this spectrum – and still faces a backlash from the GPS industry. Nonetheless, Ligado said it plans to begin service testing in 2022 to provide stand-alone or multi-layered satellite connectivity to corporate customers in the transportation, agriculture, utilities and energy sectors.

The company also announced plans to adopt technology based on 3GPP standards for the use of mobile satellites, allowing the network to support devices using low-cost chipsets that can also run on IoT networks on the ground.

Cellular satellite combo

Online event Earlier this month, Smith worked with the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) to give former WIA FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein years to help the satellite and mobile industries deliver the same type of service. He spoke about how he competed before.

Times have changed: “I think we understand the strengths and uses of each as an industry. We’re taking a different approach here, ”says Smith. This is not an “one or the other” suggestion. The best of both worlds.

Smith alluded to “different pair vendors” helping to create satellite air interfaces based on 5G standards. Historically, players in satellite space have researched their own air interfaces, according to Smith, which makes them more expensive and larger without benefiting from advances on the ground.

By incorporating satellite technology into the 5G field, “it is now possible to start work such as integrating satellite functions into a single chipset and mounting it on a device”. This allows you to use satellites to deliver services where you need them. “I think these two things are very complementary.

Smith also discussed the possibility of combining Rigad’s L band with spectrum in the 3 GHz range. The 3 GHz frequency does not cover the region as much as the 1-2 GHz band. Much research has been done on using 3+ GHz primarily for downlinks and the 1-2 GHz band for uplinks, and for channels that feel “like AWS spectrum” at the heart of many 4G deployments. . You can create combinations.

Smith said he was considering many bands, including the C band, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz, in combination with the Ligado L band.

“We are moving towards an industry that makes the most of all the megahertz spectra we have available. We anticipate this and… our spectrum is a big part of the solution. I think it is, not in itself, ”he said.

Much research has been done on the FCC’s approval of the Ligado change request required to use L-band spectrum. But that’s a “regret,” he said, with some people continuing to questioning the FCC’s decision after the fact. “It’s a very scientific approach,” he said, adding that he was happy to see the Biden administration talk about using science to pave the way for this stuff.

Yet the backlash from the GPS community continues.

“We’re an American company and take care of everything we do as a spectrum administrator,” he says, taking a collaborative approach to solving the interference problem and keeping it from getting confused. to augment. “We’re still here,” he said, when an open problem arises.

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