NDAA Bill Would Let Military Block LightSquared
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which is expected to be passed by Congress Thursday and then signed by President Obama, is currently gathering a lot of heat because of its detention provisions. But it could also have a direct effect on the ability of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to have final say on the future of LightSquared and its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network.
Congressman Mike Turner has toughened up language in the bill intended to ensure that potential FCC approval of a commercial network like LightSquared doesn't harm the military’s use of GPS. The revisions state that the FCC shall not provide authorization for the LightSquared terrestrial LTE service until Defense Department's concerns about GPS interference have been resolved.
Why this matters DoD concerns about LightSquared could potentially lead to further delay and testing and possibly finally sink the network plans. A joint statement by the departments of transportation and defense late Wednesday said that Air Force tests found that the network could cause "harmful interference to the majority of other tested general purpose GPS receivers."
For its part, LightSquared claimed this week that it has already addressed concerns about all but a few handheld GPS receivers and that the tests assumed a much higher transmit power than the network will actually use. The company expects to start a round of testing of high-precision receivers in January.
Nonetheless, the company now appears to have ever-increasing odds stacked against the network ever getting off the ground.
Read more It's been a busy week (and year) for LightSquared:
- LightSquared 'Confident' of FCC Approval in 2012
- LightSquared Lit Up About GPS Leak
- LightSquared: 30+ Customers, No LTE Network
- LightSquared: 4G America's Dumbest Pipe
- LightSquared Anticipates Close to 100 Customers
- LightSquared Inks Deal With AirTouch
- LiTE Bites: LightSquared's 12 & AT&T in Chicago
- Sprint's $13.5B Jump to LTE With LightSquared
- LightSquared Plans LTE Launch Next Year
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile