NextNav Files FCC Petition to Reconfigure 900 MHz Band for GPS Backup and 5G Broadband Services

Company wants to offer complimentary terrestrial PNT service…

NextNav NN 0.99%↑ filed a petition this week with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconfigure the 900 MHz band for a terrestrial complement and backup to GPS and provide 15 megahertz of low-band spectrum for use by mobile broadband networks.

As part of the petition, NextNav would enable a terrestrial positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) service to serve as a backup and complement to GPS.  The company contends that its NextGen technology can provide PNT services without additional legislation and taxpayer dollars.

“We have the chance to do something exciting with our airwaves. This new vision for the lower 900 MHz band unleashes spectrum for essential PNT solutions as well as broadband – all while protecting licensed incumbent operations,” said NextNav CEO Mariam Sorond, in a statement.  “In a time when spectrum is scarce, we have a solution to prioritize national security and public safety and free up spectrum for 5G. It’s a win for Americans and the U.S. economy.”

NextNav wants to reconfigure part of the 900 MHz band for complement to GPS (Image: NextNav).

Specifically, NextNav filed the petition to offer a spectrum solution in the lower 900 MHz band (902-928 MHz band).  The reallocated lower 900 MHz band could create access to 15 MHz of low-band spectrum for 5G services, said the company, which expects to partner with mobile network operators or others interested in commercial deployment in the band.

NextNav said it is already the main geographic licensee in the lower 900 MHz Band and has used its existing licenses to develop PNT expertise and products.  In March, the company received regulatory approval to purchase an additional 4 MHz in the lower 900 MHZ band from Telesaurus Holdings and Skybridge Spectrum Foundation.

NextNav isn’t the only company looking at the 900 MHz band for opportunities.  In published reportsAnterixOndas Networks and others are looking at the spectrum for communication services.  The band has the ability to carry tremendous amounts of data.

In addition, members of the LoRa Alliance are using a slice of the 900 MHz band to develop IoT services, including asset management.


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