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Globalstar Demos 2 GHz Terrestrial Low-Power Service

This past January I reported Globalstar Wi-Fi Spectrum Plan Draws Fire on the opposition to Globalstar's plans to develop a “terrestrial low-power service” (TLPS) using 2 GHz ENG channel A10. And at that time, according to WISPA, this had the potential to “cause severe interference problems” to Wi-Fi Channel 11.

This week Globalstar announced it had successfully completed initial testing of TLPS using Ruckus Wireless smart Wi-Fi technology.

The Globalstar release stated: “The Jarvinian tests demonstrate that deploying a managed 802.11-compliant technology over Globalstar’s licensed spectrum with adjacent unlicensed ISM spectrum results in a carrier-grade service that vastly exceeds the performance of public Wi-Fi.”

The announcement went on to note that the testing had been performed via a “new 22 MHz channel within the 2.4 GHz band” and that it employed “carrier-grade equipment” made by Ruckus Wireless, along with “existing smartphones” that had been modified with a firmware upgrade to operate on the new channel.

The testing was conducted using an FCC experimental license that allowed Globalstar to use its licensed Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) spectrum terrestrially.

I didn't find any recent experimental grants to Globalstar, but did locate two licenses issued to Jarvinian Wireless Innovation Fund in March. The WG2XNK license allowed operation using 4 watts ERP in the 2473-2495 MHz band in Cambridge, Mass. I should note that this experimental license not only included the grandfathered A10 2 GHz ENG channel, but also part of channel A9, which is still available for licensing under Part 74.

The other license WG2XNS involved the same frequency band, but gave a Cupertino, Calif. location.

I wonder if any of the TV stations licensed to use ENG channels A9 or A10 in the San Jose/San Francisco/Oakland market, or in Boston, received notice of this testing? The experimental licenses stated that the “Licensee is required to coordinate operations with existing microwave users in the area to avoid interference.” I don't recall receiving any notices about operations in Cupertino, or seeing any notifications from SBE about the testing.

Nor did John Dooley, a managing partner at Jarvinian, mention 2 GHz ENG users in his description of the testing: “The combination of the Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi equipment and TLPS exceeded our expectations for distance and capacity while not interfering or degrading the existing traffic on traditional Wi-Fi channels,” said Dooley. “Even in an indoor urban environment made difficult or otherwise unusable by spectral congestion, usable connections were established at three to five times the distance of public Wi-Fi. More critically, very high-speed connections were maintained much more uniformly and over significantly longer distances.”

As I noted in the article I referenced earlier, broadcasters are concerned about the impact of this use on ENG channels. If Jarvinian didn't notify broadcasters of the use of their 2 GHz licensed spectrum, it raises questions about their ability to share spectrum--if such a thing is possible--with licensed users in this spectrum.