New discoveries from Galileo? FCC grants nonfederal access to revolutionary European satellite

At its Open Commission Meeting on 15 November the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a draft order that grants in part the European Commission's long-pending request for waivers of certain FCC licensing requirements to permit nonfederal U.S. receive-only earth stations to operate with specific signals of the Galileo satellite system (Galileo) without having to obtain an FCC license or grant of U.S. market access.

Galileo was developed by the European Union and consists of a number of satellites operating in the radionavigation-satellite service (RNSS), similar to the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS). The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recommended grant of the requested waivers, and the FCC's International Bureau issued a public notice seeking comment on the potential benefits and technical issues associated with the waiver request. The FCC granted the European Commission waiver request for operations with the Galileo E1 signal (1559-1591 MHz) and E5 signal (1164-1219 MHz), but denied the request for operations with the E6 signal (1260-1300 MHz).

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