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NextNav Unveils Dual-Track Approach: Complementing GPS with Additional Spectrum for Broadband


May 5, 2024 , , ,

NextNav, a provider of next-generation GPS (Global Positioning System) positioning and timing services, has announced a new vision for the future of positioning and communication. The company proposes leveraging additional spectrum in the lower 900 MHz band to not only enhance GPS but also create opportunities for expanded broadband services.

NextNav’s plan involves petitioning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconfigure the lower 900 MHz band. This reconfiguration would enable the deployment of NextNav’s terrestrial positioning service, Pinnacle, as a high-quality complement and backup to GPS. Pinnacle utilizes existing cellular infrastructure, making it a cost-effective and widely accessible solution.

NextNav’s proposal highlights the following key points:

  • Enhanced GPS Reliability: Pinnacle would provide a reliable and accurate terrestrial positioning service, mitigating vulnerabilities associated with GPS, such as jamming or signal degradation.
  • Broadband Spectrum Creation: Reconfiguring the band would unlock 15 MHz of spectrum ideally suited for low-band 5G deployments, furthering mobile network capacity and speeds.
  • Cost-Effective Solution: Leveraging existing cellular infrastructure makes Pinnacle a cost-effective alternative to building entirely new positioning networks.
  • Focus on Incumbent Protection: The proposal prioritizes protecting the operations of existing licensed users in the band.

The company recently completed a successful trial with the Department of Homeland Security showcasing Pinnacle’s capabilities in GPS-denied environments. Additionally, NextNav has secured agreements for additional spectrum in the lower 900 MHz band, demonstrating its commitment to this vision.