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LightSquared asks FCC for tighter GPS standards

Posted: , by Alan F.

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LightSquared asks FCC for tighter GPS standards
You have to give the gang at LightSquared an "A+" for effort and originality. The company's network continues to interfere with nearby GPS signals, and a big contract with Sprint is close to getting ripped up if the government doesn't sign off on the service soon. But with the pressure on, someone at LightSquared had a light bulb moment. Instead of continually trying to change the bands that its service is using, which hasn't helped, why not change the GPS receivers? Thus, the company is asking the FCC to change the rules so that these receivers have to be better designed.

In its filing with the FCC, LightSquared said, "LightSquared has an interest in establishing these standards in order to ensure that Radionavigation-Satellite Service (RNSS) receivers perform as intended, taking into account licensed operations in adjacent spectrum bands--including the 1525-1559 MHz and 1626.6-1660.5 MHz bands in which LightSquared is authorized to operate."  Since the GPS receivers "look into" LightSquared's spectrum, the latter contends that the receivers are poorly designed and lack the necessary filters that would block out LightSquared's signal.

In a statement, the network wholesaler said, "Two rounds of testing by independent and government entities have confirmed that the interference experienced by the commercial GPS receivers is the result of an industry decision to design and sell poorly filtered devices that purposefully depend on spectrum licensed to LightSquared for accuracy. If sensible standards were in place, the GPS industry would not be facing the current interference problems and consumers would benefit from a more efficient use of spectrum." The FCC did not comment. But Jim Kirkland, a vice president and general counsel of Trimble, a founding member of the Coalition to Save Our GPS which is a group opposed to LightSquared's plans, says that it is the "same same false premises and claims that LightSquared has repeated ad nauseam in its ongoing effort to deny its obligation to avoid harmful interference to millions of government and private GPS users."

Even if LightSquared gets the FCC to consider a rule change, it could take months or years before it is finalized and by then, Sprint and other companies that have signed up for LightSquared's service will probably have walked. The FCC last month said that it would take public comment on the situation until February 27th with follow-up responses due March 13th. That date coincides with the end of the 6 week period that Sprint is giving LightSquared to get government approval for its service.

source: LightSquared via FierceMobile

5 Comments
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posted on 08 Feb 2012, 13:30 5

1. fervid (Posts: 173; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I've been saying this all along. LightSquared is operating within their legal rights. GPS devices should be the ones having to deal with the issues since they are the ones operating outside their spectrum. FCC even has on most devices that states they are not allowed to cause interference and should accept any interference they are given...especially if that is because they are operating outside of their assigned bands.

posted on 08 Feb 2012, 13:53 5

2. jcrally17 (Posts: 8; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Surprised no one has commented on this one...
Well, basically the boys at Lightsquared are right and they own the rights to use the spectrum. It's like trying to save money by building your fence at angle to avoid an oak tree with big roots, but instead of narrowing your yard, you build the fence outside the edge of your property making it bigger and nicer, while your neighbors lot becomes noticeable smaller & lacking.
The worst part though, is even after you've monopolized what's not yours, you have the balls to form an association/coalition to protest the neighbors house expansion that is needed to start/grow a new family, claiming it will cost to much to move the fence and it might even kill the beautiful oak tree if you interfere with the roots.

posted on 08 Feb 2012, 14:18 4

3. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 631; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Ahh finally we see the truth behind it all, that coalition is all for making money with shoddy built products thus why they are fearing Lightsquared, if your crappy system looks into my licensed bandwidth isn't that your problem and not mine? Then you have to fix your equipment to ensure that it doesn't encroach on my spectrum. The government needs to look into this coalition it all smell bogus. Makes sense to ask the government to tighten up the GPS standards, LightSquared is working well within their rights. I can't wait to see the outcome of this, will Lightsquared make it out on top as they should considering they have licensed spectrum and other GPS tend to look into Lightsquared's spectrum which is a problem that the GPS manufacturers need to fix on their end. Go Lightsquared!

posted on 08 Feb 2012, 14:55 4

4. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


i sure hope that lightsquared comes ahead on this one.

it just seems like the government (or some other entity) has a vested interest in lightsquared failing. anyway, if it does fail i hope sprint gets some kind of concession, it seems like big yellow was counting on this one.

posted on 08 Feb 2012, 16:24 2

5. corps1089 (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Jan 2010)


Not to mention that LightSquared manufactures GPS devices themselves and are more than willing to adhere to the higher standard.

The biggest argument the coalitionhas against LightSquared is the resulting decreased performance in the emergency and military GPS devices. Well, LightSquared actually manufactures most of the GPS equipment that goes to that segment and it also operates on different frequencies anyway!

The coalitionis just whining and are nothing more than squatters. Get off thier land coalition!

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