Garmin sees GPS threat from Ligado approval vote
May 21, 2020 By Dan Namowitz
A GPS-industry giant wants the Federal Communications Commission to
purge the record of any doubt that the company opposes the
controversial Ligado Networks 5G wireless network proposal that the
agency approved in April.
Critics say Ligado Networks' proposed 5G network could jam GPS
Garmin International, a leading navigation technology company, wrote
to the FCC on May 15 “to supplement and correct the record regarding
several faulty assertions” it said the FCC included in its order in
the Ligado case. Garmin reiterated its “ongoing concern” that
GPS-based devices could experience interference from the proposed
"internet of things" network that would operate on the L-band spectrum
adjacent to GPS frequencies.
But Garmin said it never entered into such agreements, only
participating in “a technical settlement agreement in 2015 to resolve
ongoing litigation brought against it by Ligado. Nothing in the
Settlement Agreement constitutes support for or an endorsement of
Ligado or its proposed services or technologies.
“Garmin states again that it does not support or endorse Ligado’s
license modification applications,” the letter said, adding that the
settlement agreement “captures Garmin’s ongoing concern about its
certified aviation devices” and preserves its ability to “petition the government for protection of these devices.”
On the same day Garmin weighed in, 32 U.S. senators signed onto a
letter http://download.aopa.org/advocacy/2020/0520_ligado.pdf urging
the FCC to “immediately stay and reconsider” its approval to “more
fully consider the technical concerns raised by numerous federal
agencies and private sector stakeholders, and outline a path forward
that adequately addresses these concerns.”
The FCC’s action “has discounted testing and assessments” by nine
federal agencies—all of which noted concerns “that the Ligado plan
would interfere with millions of GPS receivers and satellite services
across the nation,” the senators wrote.