Next Generation 3D PNT

Terrestrial 3D PNT powered by low band spectrum

A new vision for a complement and backup to GPS

NextNav’s next generation PNT technology and network solution will leverage 5G, with a goal of single digit accuracy for 3D positioning available indoors, outdoors, and in urban corridors. NextNav’s NextGen PNT solution will also provide wireless distribution of precise timing.

The Current Situation

The country’s principal positioning, navigation, & timing (PNT) system, GPS, is foundational to national security and the US economy (and powering critical infrastructure), but coverage is limited indoors and in urban canyons, and GPS is vulnerable to jamming and spoofing. The impact of GPS on the U.S. economy has been estimated at over $1 trillion, and the potential economic impact of the loss of GPS is estimated at $1 billion per day.

Consensus that the United States needs:

  1. A terrestrial 3D PNT service that can complement and back up GPS
  2. Spectrum is limited and we need more of it for 5G.

The Solution

In a recent FCC filing, NextNav proposed rearranging the Lower 900 MHz band to enable its use for terrestrial positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) services, as well as 5G broadband.

A terrestrial 3D PNT complement and back up to GPS, will mitigate the risks to the country, help public safety by providing location information and situational awareness indoors and in multi-story buildings, and unleash commercial opportunities.

This proposal unleashes spectrum for:

  1. A critical 3D PNT solution to complement and back up GPS as well as
  2. 5G broadband

This plan doesn’t require any taxpayer dollars or legislation and makes 15 MHz of low-band spectrum available for 5G broadband. NextNav also intends to ensure incumbent operations are appropriately protected.

How NextGen Works

How NextGen Works

NextNav’s NextGen network plan is a 3GPP NR-based widescale PNT network, covering both indoor and outdoor locations for 3D location services as well as precise timing services distributing the Coordinated Universal Time (“UTC”). The network is based on 5G NR and aligned with 3GPP global standards, enabling and ensuring broad access to global ecosystem partners for chipsets, equipment, software, and hence rapid adoption. The use of 5G NR technology and incorporation of 5G positioning reference signal (“PRS”) provide an important foundation for the NextGen PNT network, but building an accurate, resilient, and cost-effective PNT network involves many considerations beyond simply electing to transmit PRS as the positioning reference. For that reason, NextNav’s NextGen PNT network will be hardened and differentiated by NextNav’s PNT-related intellectual property, technical expertise, and years of operational experience.

NextNav’s NextGen network will make its PNT service accessible to all compatible UEs, whether UEs are registered on the NextNav partner network or on other networks. That is, the NextNav PNT service’s PRS signals can be made available to UEs that are serviced by other operators’ networks (i.e., out-of-network).

The network will also incorporate NextNav’s z-axis solution to provide a comprehensive, fully integrated 3D offering and better service experience. The z-axis solution uses a network of fixed outdoor barometric reference sensors to help calibrate the z-axis location of a user’s mobile device (or other user equipment with a barometric sensor).

NextNav Lays Out a New Vision

Innovative Spectrum Solution Supports NextGen 3D PNT Technology with 5G Broadband

NextGen in the Field

  • Adds a layer of terrestrial 3D PNT capabilities for public safety, utility companies and other critical infrastructure industries
  • Delivers the accurate, highly available, PNT needed for devices and infrastructure to operate in urban areas
  • Expands tracking capabilities to new markets with location positioning indoors and in urban areas

Learn more about the application of NextGen terrestrial 3D PNT

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