Globalstar is trying to sell the FCC on the “significant public interest benefits” of its proposed Terrestrial Low Power Service (TLPS) on the 22 megahertz of spectrum adjacent to 2.4 GHz adjacent unlicensed frequencies.
The position that Globalstar is taking with trying to offer a terrestrial low-power service in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz band is meeting with a fair amount of resistance. Why? Because they are asking for a unique condition that would allow them to have preferential access to spectrum in an unlicensed band.
Globalstar’s proposal goes against the exact definition of unlicensed. There is a flurry of resentment against Globalstar’s proposal. Not only from the FCC, but from other unlicensed vectors such as the Bluetooth SIG and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA).
Why they want to do this is simply that it is extremely beneficial to the spectrum owner. Globalstar’s TLPS, as opposed to a standard Wi-Fi network would be the equivalent of a private small cell 3G or 4G network. Why only 22 megahertz? Because TLPS will use only a one 22 megahertz-wide Wi-Fi channel.
Globalstar could get a lot more mileage out of that small chunk of private bandwidth, compared to the hundreds of megahertz available to unlicensed Wi-Fi, which is really a Wild West of usage. And, since only Globalstar’s customers would have access to that spectrum, there would be no worries that a “rogue” AP would show up and pollute this spectrum. This is essentially, managed spectrum in unlicensed chaos. One can readily see the advantages of this.
We all are aware that the unlicensed airwaves are a mess. But, in spite of that, it works – mostly. That is because these bands are successfully self-managed. Globalstar would add a chunk of spectrum that everybody else would have to be aware of. It should be the other way around, and so far Globalstar hasn’t given any proof of that.
Adding a private network that has exclusive access to unlicensed spectrum is a bad precedent.