Omnispace and Ligado Networks join forces to create largest portfolio of satellite spectrum
Omnispace and Ligado Networks today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to combine their respective licensed mobile satellite services (MSS) spectrum to enable the world’s most capable space-based, direct-to-device (D2D) solutions for global voice, text and data connectivity. Utilizing large blocks of satellite spectrum in the L- and S-Bands, this agreement sets the stage for the development of multi-band, multi-orbit satellite offerings to enable ubiquitous mobile connectivity for more than 5 billion mobile subscribers in areas where terrestrial cellular coverage does not exist today.
The companies’ collaboration would use portions of Ligado’s 40 MHz of L-band satellite spectrum in the U.S. and Canada and Omnispace’s 60 MHz of S-band satellite spectrum (3GPP 5G bands n255 and n256). The combination would bring together for the first time the largest block of satellite spectrum dedicated to meeting a global market need for text, voice and data capability. The satellite spectrum assembled by the companies is licensed, 3GPP-standardized for non-terrestrial networks (NTN) and already in compliance with existing international ITU and U.S. regulations. Additionally, the collaboration anticipates optimizing multi-orbit geostationary (GEO) and non-geostationary (NGSO) networks to provide seamless, global coverage for D2D use cases across key markets, including consumer smartphone, automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.
“In many ways, this spectrum combination is the last missing piece to unlocking the full promise and potential of direct-to-device connectivity and creates the necessary foundation for an exceptional voice, text and data experience,” said Ram Viswanathan, President and CEO for Omnispace. “Together with Ligado, we will bring the spectrum and technology to deliver a game-changing solution directly from space to a variety of devices that could benefit billions of mobile subscribers worldwide.”
“We are pleased to partner with Omnispace in this initiative that has the potential to accelerate enhanced 5G non-terrestrial networks globally with coverage and bandwidth to support superior direct-to-device satellite connectivity,” said Doug Smith, President and CEO for Ligado Networks. "This an important step forward for Ligado’s satellite business. The addition of S-band solutions to our growing L-band portfolio of satellite services brings together an unrivaled amount of licensed satellite spectrum across multiple orbits. Together we are able to establish a premier, one-stop shop global footprint for ecosystem partners and global MNOs to offer premium services for billions of mobile subscribers worldwide.”
The combination of L- and S-band spectrum is a unique opportunity to expand the ecosystem of D2D applications and technologies, enhance user experience and extend service globally. For consumer smartphones, the offering will have enough bandwidth to go beyond emergency satellite texting by offering ubiquitous roaming mobile coverage with two-way voice, messaging and data capabilities. Automotive partners can leverage the service to provide customers a suite of safety, telematics and intelligent connectivity solutions that are always-on and resilient. The expansion of the ecosystem, driven by this unique combination of satellite spectrum bands, will enable greater accessibility for mission-critical IoT connectivity across industries such as agriculture, government, energy production and distribution, as well as supply chain management.