(Posts: 237; Member since: 17 Jun 2010)
I don't really understand how LightSquared works. I get that it's a LTE network, but why does it need satellites? It would be great if someone could explain this to me....
all cell phone company's use satellites, your phones signal is transferred to towers, to a primary tower, to a sat, back down to a primary tower, and sent to a tower closest to the person you are calling.
(Posts: 406; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)
That's not the way it works. Your voice and data calls do not route through satellites. The base stations use GPS to maintain timing and that's about it. If all cell phones used satellites, there would be 4 second latency on every phone call. Once your phone hits a tower, it runs through the local telco if you're calling a landline, or it will use telco switching while handing off from tower to tower for mobile to mobile use.
The issue with LightSquared is they are using spectrum that was allocated to them, that is within a block of frequencies that are used for GPS services (Garmin, TomTom, commercial, industrial, agricultural, et al). LightSquared asked the FCC if they could deploy some of this spectrum for terrestrial use (lease it out, make some money, use some capacity). The FCC said yes under the condition that they could prove that using these freqs would not interfere with other GPS service requests on the ground (because they use frequencies that are adjacent to what LightSquared is licensed for).
Well, it appears to interfere a great deal. Garmin has already complained, and if the USAF says there's interference, they will cite some type of domain/military necessity and LightSquared's idea will wither on the vine.