Over Objections, FCC Approves Higher Ground Waiver

On January 18, the International Bureau, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), and the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved Higher Ground LLC’s waiver request to use C-band satellite spectrum in the 3700-4200 and 5925-6425 MHz bands to deploy up to 50,000 earth stations by attaching “SatPaq” terminals to smartphones to provide “consumer-based text messaging/light email and IoT communications.” The waiver was granted over opposition from multiple carriers, business enterprise, and public safety entities, all of which expressed concern about the potential for interference to 6 GHz microwave facilities. The FCC concluded that Higher Ground’s proprietary method and algorithms for using Universal Licensing System (ULS) data to identify and avoid protected 6 GHz fixed facilities was reasonably expected to prevent interference. EWA is carefully reviewing the FCC’s technical justifications and associated assurances that interference to incumbent microwave systems will be minimal with the objective of potentially submitting an Application for Review. EWA had earlier suggested to the FCC that such a controversial matter would be best determined through a formal rule making process rather than simply approving a waiver request.    


Category: EWA On Your Side