Shares of Globalstar, Inc. (NYSEMKT:GSAT) were down 14.5% as of 11:40 a.m. EST after the satellite communications company revealed it is seeking to narrow its request in an ongoing FCC proceeding to allow Terrestrial Low Power Service (TLPS).
In Globalstar's third-quarter 2016 conference call last week, management had detailed its response to an interference report filed by Microsoft in the proceedings in September, arguing that Microsoft's methodology "included an extreme test setup and technical parameters that would never occur in any real-world deployment." Rather, when such testing was performed in a real-world deployment, Globalstar said at the time, "it is conclusive that TLPS peacefully coexists with unlicensed operations [and] poses no risk whatsoever to such services as Bluetooth and 2.4 Ghz WiFi systems."
Today, though -- and noting Globalstar's original proposal was to allow its 11.5 MHz of licensed spectrum to be used with 10.5 MHz of unlicensed spectrum in the adjacent ISM band -- Globalstar revealed a narrower request in a statement:
While the Company has worked hard with the Commission and supports the Commission's efforts over the past few years, given the concerns expressed by Commissioners and parties participating in our proceeding, the Company now seeks to narrow the relief it originally requested. Globalstar requests that the Commission adopt a subset of the rules contained in the 2013 NPRM and permit the terrestrial use of Globalstar's 11.5 MHz of licensed spectrum in the 2.4 GHz band for low-power terrestrial broadband services. This new proposal will allow consumers to further benefit from recent technology and ecosystem advancements that make it possible for the band to be rapidly added into the nation's operational broadband inventory. We believe that Globalstar's concession should resolve the remaining technical and policy issues in this proceeding and allow the Commission to now move forward expeditiously while creating a substantial benefit for the wireless market.
To be fair, this doesn't mean Globalstar has failed completely in progressing its TLPS agenda with the FCC. But it's hard to blame investors for worrying since this indicates its initial proposal is being viewed as a too-broad solution. In the end, while Globalstar's concession might be just what the FCC needs to move forward, I'm still content watching the company's progress from the sidelines.