LightSquared asks FCC for tighter GPS standards

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

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