Globalstar - Terrestrial Low-Power Service (TLPS) January 22, 2013 12:22
Globalstar has proposed terrestrial operation on a the newly named AWS5 band. It would essentially be a 4th non-overlapping WiFi channel (Channels 1,6,and 11 are the primary non-overlapping WiFi channels). It would still be a 22MHz wide channel, using the ISM band above Channel 11 (which is lightly used) and about 10MHz of their AWS5 channel. Globalstar believes that most existing WiFi devices could support this spectrum with a over-the-air software updates so a massive number of devices could be overloaded to this network once it is constructed.
Also intriguing is the improved performance characteristics of this spectrum. First, since it is licensed to Globalstar, they can control the use of the spectrum. They envision a carrier grade network using this spectrum that would manage Hotspot power levels and interference. Since this spectrum has much less interference, it is capable of covering larger areas with higher speeds than typical WiFi.
If Globalstar can figure out the backhaul aspect to providing this service, I think they will have a leg up on other white-glove WiFi service providers since they are better able to manage the RF environment for their frequencies. It is conceivable that Globalstar would host WiFi overloading for all of the 4 national carriers. I still see the biggest challenge to be in a residential environment where they envision a hotspot in my house being under their control, but likely on my cable internet service. I'm pretty sure Comcast won't react well to my residential internet service supporting a commercial operation.
Is this a service that could be considered or expanded into the EBS/BRS channels that are adjacent to Globalstar's spectrum? The answer is yes. Clearwire has stated that they have excess spectrum. I would anticipate that this would look like a private LTE network on Clearwire's spectrum versus WiFi on Globalstar's, but it would not be as feasible as Globalstar's proposal due to the current lack of devices that support LTE on the EBS/BRS frequencies.