The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved the use of some Galileo signals within America.
On 15 November, the FCC granted in part the European Commission’s request for a waiver of FCC rules to permit non-Federal devices in the US to access specific Galileo signals.
So consumers and industry in the US will now be permitted to access certain Galileo transmissions to augment their own GPS - benefitting from improved availability, reliability and resiliency of position, navigation and timing (PNT) services within the US mainland.
The Order finds that Galileo is uniquely situated as a foreign GNSS with respect to GPS, since the 2 systems are interoperable and frequency-compatible in respect of the 2004 European Union/United States Galileo-GPS Agreement.
Specifically, the Order permits access to 2 Galileo signals:
- E1, transmitted in the 1,559-1,591 MHz portion of the 1,559-1,610 MHz Radionavigation-Satellite Service (RNSS) frequency band;
- E5, transmitted in the 1,164-1,219 MHz portion of the 1,164-1,215 MHz and 1,215-1,240 MHz RNSS bands.
These are the same RNSS bands in which GPS operates.
The Order does not grant access to the Galileo E6 signal in the 1,260-1,300 MHz band, since this band is not allocated for RNSS in the US or used by GPS to provide PNT services. The FCC noted that granting access to the Galileo E6 signal could constrain US spectrum management in the future in spectrum above 1,300 MHz, where potential allocation changes are under consideration.