LightSquared's Phil Falcone blames others for GPS interference: “We're not interfering with them. They're interfering with us”

LightSquared's Phil Falcone blames others for GPS interference: “We're not interfering with them. They're interfering with us”
LightSquared has hit the news recently after inking a 15-year deal with Sprint over LTE, but getting that 4G network up and running has been anything but easy – AT&T and Verizon have both stood up against it, citing interference with GPS signal. And not just simple interference – the signal transmitted by LightSquared's 4G towers is said to be blocking GPS as it's more than a billion times stronger. The response has been the Save Our GPS Coalition, but the country's two biggest carriers also seem to have the same cause.

Now, however, hedge-fund manager and billionaire heading LightSquared, Phil Falcone, fired back claiming that everyone knew about the interference issue in advance and that actually "we were mandated to build this network and now the GPS community is saying, 'They’re interfering with us'...[They] knew of this eight years ago." 

Who's to blame? Falcone accused other companies of not putting “the proper filtering on their devices.” Stronger filters would be able to correctly determine which signal should be received, Lightsquared argues, while the Save Our GPS coalition counters that such filters are impossible to develop.

“They are leaking into our highway. We’re not interfering with them They’re interfering with us,” Falcone concluded.

Before you run away from what seems like another he said/she said conflict, let's go back to the technical side of the problem which lies in the part of the spectrum that LightSquared uses, an area where the GPS and LTE bands are very close and interference occurs. LightSquared owns a huge chunk of US spectrum, in the L Band between 1525 and 1559 MHz, but the initial 10MHz chunk it chose for LTE is where interference happened as it's used for GPS augmentation. The company has agreed to test another piece of spectrum farther away from GPS's frequencies and half the power of its network, but the final solution won't be easy to find - it'll take joint efforts from both sides. 

source: CNBC



1. PhoneLuver

Posts: 481; Member since: Jul 05, 2010

Why haven't the lawsuits started? lol

2. Wowe1234 unregistered

The GPS community needs to be sued. They are using freq that belong to LightSquared. The interference is not the issue. Its true that the FCC back in 2004 gave notice and the GPS community still cut corners. The FCC should exchange for other freq that are available such as 1300-1390, 1755-1850 or the D block broadband spectrum since its not yet approved for gov't use go to the recent political action.

5. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Lets not lose track that the U.S. Government (specifically, the Dept. of Defense) implemented (maybe even invented) GPS and the GPS signals that are being interfered with are the same ones being used by the DoD. Rots of Ruck suing (or is it sewing?) the Feds.

3. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

get off our LTE bitches!!! lol

4. Keegan unregistered

Phil Falcone is like the smartest dude that nobody knows about. This guy could seriously give Warren Buffett a run for the money. I really hope this pans out for him. Also funny is that AT&T are a bunch of busters.

6. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

The GPS community was given a over a year to file any objections to the FCC granting the company [which is now known as LightSquared] an exception to thier license for the use of the L-Band spectrum for terrestrial signals. Manufacturers of GPS units did not include filters because they did not want to put in the time and effort and money to develop $0.05 filters that could block stronger terrestrial signals in other spectrum blocks and still allow maximum sensitivity for the low power satellite signals. LightSquared has addressed the GPS industry's shortcoming by voluntarily relocating to block of spectrum further away from the GPS block in L-Band [at thier own cost], and the only remaining GPS devices that are affected are those 2% that are made by a subsidy of LightSquared. GPS industry allowed the issue to develop by not performing due diligence in making their products and are now screaming about it because someone stepped on thier toe, when someone told them well in advance "hey, we're going to step there", after the governing authority advised it was OK to step there, and are now trying to claim that it was thier head that was stomped on and not thier toe. Sit down, shut up, and stop trying to block us from getting another competetive option.

7. anon123 unregistered

^^ +1

10. Blademan

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 11, 2011

Lightsquared keeps throwing out the $0.05 comment and people keep buying into that nonsense. The technology doesn't yet exist. Phil Falcone loves to keep mentioning that the GPS manufacturers have had 8-10 years to fix this problem, but what he doesn't tell you is that they have been trying to fix this problem. They're getting closer to solving the problem, but they're not there yet. As for the comment that "the only remaining GPS devices that are affected are those 2% that are made by a subsidy of LightSquared", well that is pure BS. Where on earth did you come up with this? The remaining GPS devices that will be affected are High Precision GPS units, none of which are made by any subsidiary of Lightsquared. Seriously, stop drinking the Lightsquared Kool Aid for a moment and step back and search for the facts.

8. codymws

Posts: 237; Member since: Jun 17, 2010

What happens if things don't work out for LightSquared, and they're not allowed to build their LTE network?

9. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Cody, Its lightsquareds spectrum that GPS companies are infringing on. If i were Lightsquared id launch the sattelites and just let them run for a few months before a public launch.. It would interfere with the GPS signals and force them to do something about it. Squeeze up between their sattilites and give em a lil butt bounce outta the way!

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless