Does Google have a spectrum strategy?

| PolicyTracker

A company part-owned by Google has acquired some MSS (mobile satellite service) spectrum in the Ku band left over from the now-defunct satellite venture Skybridge. It is expected ultimately to involve 360 satellites operating at an altitude of 800 km and 950 km. Its budget, considered optimistic by consultant Tim Farrar, is $3 billion.

This is not the first time Google has made a move into the world of spectrum management. A few weeks ago, we learned that its chief executive Larry Page had gone out of his way to slap down proposals to use internationally harmonised spectrum (and almost certainly MSS spectrum) for its high-altitude balloon venture, Project Loon.

Its designers were told to find a way for the network to provide connectivity to isolated communities using other spectrum. In response, Project Loon is considering offering services on cellular spectrum that is already assigned. In this model, Google would lease its balloons like a stratospheric towerco.

For the time being, the company has settled on the go-to bands for outlandish innovation, the 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz ISM bands.

Google is still not a member of the GSM Association, but given its about-turn on acquiring MSS spectrum, maybe that could change one day. It is, however, a charter member of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance, which promotes the use of dynamic spectrum access in as many bands as possible – starting with TV white spaces.

Perhaps ubiquity is Google’s spectrum strategy. Or perhaps the internet search giant is simply feeling its way, and like me, is not really sure what its next spectrum steps will be.

Img Alt


Discover why hundreds of regulators and technology companies use our services

LS telcom
Mobile and satellite industry groups celebrate progress on non-terrestrial standards
Thank you Nikolai, it's amended!" by Laura Sear
Apr 04, 2024
Mobile and satellite industry groups celebrate progress on non-terrestrial standards
It seems the second line of the..." by Nikolai Shienok
Apr 04, 2024
Vietnam’s auction was a partial success
UPDATE: The Ministry of Information and..." by SRS test sub
Apr 02, 2024
UK mobile operators warn of Vodafone/Three spectrum dominance
Update (March 22, 2024): The CMA has..." by Richard Haas
Mar 22, 2024
Telefónica criticises EU Orange/MásMóvil merger decision
The Spanish government approved the..." by Mirva Villa
Mar 13, 2024