US FCC Probes American Gadgets for GLONASS, Beidou

US Federal Commission (FCC) is currently conducting an investigation to determine whether American rules are being violated by mobile devices in the country that receive and process signals from foreign satellites controlled by foreign opponents. The focus is primarily on satellite navigation systems such as the Russian Glonass and Chinese Beidou.

The investigation, which began a few months ago, is targeting manufacturers of devices such as Apple Inc., Google (a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.), Samsung Electronics Co., and Nokia Oyj. The FCC has highlighted that it is yet unclear whether this practice poses a security threat.

American companies are officially authorized to use the National GPS and obtained permission to utilize the European Galileo in 2018. Russia and China also have their own groups of spacecraft supporting the GLONASS and Beidou navigation systems. However, the processing of their signals has not received official approval from the FCC.

Republican member of the House, Mike Gallahr, has urged the FCC to take action against the use of “non-authorized” signals from foreign satellites. One of the reasons cited for manufacturers supporting such signals is the perceived “lag of the United States” in introducing a new generation of GPS satellites. Gallahr suggests that the United States could instead rely on the European Galileo system without needing to utilize Chinese and Russian signals.

The FCC has been addressing the issue of using Glonass and Beidou for several years. In 2018, Jessica Rosenvorsel stated that utilizing signals from foreign satellite systems is an unavoidable reality that cannot be overlooked. She emphasized the need for technologies to evolve alongside a policy of approval.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.