Mobile communications company Ligado Networks announced it obtained approvals from the wireless industry’s global standard-setting body for new technical specifications to enable its L-band spectrum to be used in 5G networks. The permissions from the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) mark a significant step in Ligado’s extension of the L-Band vendor ecosystem and its efforts to expand new mid-band spectrum in 5G networks in the U.S. Ligado is currently developing a 5G Mobile Private Network Solution designed to bring the power of next-generation networks to the energy, manufacturing, health care, transportation, and other critical infrastructure sectors.
“This is a major milestone for us – in an already momentous year – and advances our vision to deploy this spectrum for a range of next-generation services.The 3GPP green light gives us what we need to accelerate our commercial ecosystem activities and expand Ligado’s roster of partners to deploy this much-needed spectrum for U.S. businesses and consumers.”Ligado CEO, Doug Smith.
3GPP endorsements of Band 24 will enable vendors to build 5G and LTE products compatible with Ligado’s mid-band spectrum. Though 3GPP endorsements often serve as the launching point for spectrum-holders to engage potential ecosystem vendors, Ligado has already entered into commercial agreements with multiple 5G base station and chipset vendors. The company has also announced a collaboration with pioneering network operator Rakuten Mobile to showcase its 5G Mobile Private Network Solution. The companies plan to deploy lab and field trials over the next 12 months.
The approval includes updates to Ligado’s existing LTE Band 24, a new 5G NR Band, a new 5G NR Supplemental Uplink (SUL), and NR Carrier Aggregation (CA) SUL band combinations for n24 and n99 with CBRS, C-Band, and EBS/BRS spectrum. The approvals of SUL band n99 and band combinations will help facilitate the deployments of the L-Band spectrum with other mid-band airwaves like the C-Band, CBRS, and EBS spectrum bands.
“Receiving these 3GPP approvals is a huge springboard to deploy the L-Band in U.S. 5G networks, and we’re excited to have continued support from several industry-leading vendors. Bringing this additional mid-band spectrum to the 5G market will help the U.S. roll out next-generation deployments more quickly, at lower costs, and with superior network performance.”Chief Technology Officer, Maqbool Aliani
Ligado submitted these work items to 3GPP in June 2020 after winning unanimous, bipartisan approval from the Federal Communications Commission to modify its existing spectrum license. In October 2020, the company announced it had successfully raised nearly $4 billion to develop and deploy the L-Band in 5G networks.
Ligado’s mission is to modernize American businesses by delivering the 5G connectivity solutions needed to transform their operations and realize the efficiencies of a digital world. Building on 25 years of experience providing crucial satellite connectivity, it plans to deploy licensed mid-band spectrum in public and private 5G networks will help pave the way for future innovations and economic growth across America.