LightSquared's network interferes with GPS, according to the latest test

LightSquared's network interferes with GPS, according to the latest test
Back in January, the FCC gave LightSquared the thumbs up to use its L-Band spectrum to provide LTE service on a wholesale basis to mobile carriers with one major caveat. Testing had to prove that LightSquared's service would not interfere with neighboring GPS signals. Unfortunately, when testing started in New Mexico, Public safety and other agencies reported that one single LightSquared tower caused disruptions in GPS functionality as far away as 20 miles from the location of the lone tower.

LightSquared wants to install 36,000 towers across the U.S., and the results of this test seriously jeopardizes that business plan. Jeff Carlisle, the company's executive vice president for regulatory affairs and public policy says that LightSquared and GPS can, "Peacefully co-exist". Later this month, LightSquared is scheduled to deliver a final report on GPS interference to the FCC. If the problems cannot be resolved, the company might have to turn the power off and close its doors permanently.

Ironically, earlier today, Bloomberg reported that LightSquared is working on a deal to buy LTE access from AT&T to use in areas where it doesn't have coverage or capacity to offer its own services. The report, attributed to anonymous sources, says that nothing between the two has been finalized. So far LightSquared has agreed to provide 4G LTE service to Cellular South, Cricket Wireless and Open Range.

source: WSJ, Bloomberg via Phonescoop



1. Hello-dirt

Posts: 102; Member since: May 02, 2010

I am still a little confused by LTE going forward. The airport in SLC asked Verizon to remove their LTE towers so that they no longer interfered with their signals. Has the problem(s) been resolved or are companies just trying to push a too powerful technology before it is ready to play nice with all the other signals out there?

2. bonesb unregistered

LS’s LTE radio frequency is close to that of the GPS radio frequency, however, the issue at hand is that LS’s tower’s much-closer presence to the earth is overpowering the weaker satellite-based GPS radio transmitters, while keeping in mind that LS’s strategy also includes satellite radio transmissions. VZW’s alleged conflict is an entirely different matter.

5. CTAPEEM unregistered

Darn... I was getting excited about this startup. It actually made sense - instead of having dozens of national networks, each costing billions of dollars to maintain and improve, one network will provide service and, in turn, save a lot of our money. Perhaps, it's time for Sprint, or some smaller carrier, to come to the rescue of this thing and provide a different RF spectrum to LightSquared?

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