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NDAA Bill Would Let Military Block LightSquared

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
12/15/2011
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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:



— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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schlettie
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schlettie,
User Rank: Lightning
12/5/2012 | 4:46:21 PM
re: NDAA Bill Would Let Military Block LightSquared


Presumably Lightsquared purchased their spectrum at auction.  If the spectrum is essentially unusable, why doesn't the FCC allow them to swap it for usable spectrum (if there is any available)?

joset01
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joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:46:21 PM
re: NDAA Bill Would Let Military Block LightSquared


I don't think the FCC is just going to be able to pull 59MHz of spectrum out from down back of the sofa.

krishanguru143
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krishanguru143,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:46:20 PM
re: NDAA Bill Would Let Military Block LightSquared


The spectrum is usable, just not the way LightSquared wants to NOW use it.  That is the keyword there, NOW.  They bought the spectrum in 2001 and have since changed their plans on how they will use it.  Is that the fault of the FCC?  Itis time LS are told to deal with what they bought; if they cannot make a working business model out of it, then sell the spectrum and move on.


 


So far they have lied, lied and lied about test results.  Not long ago they were claiming no issues at all, tests revealed that to be 100% wrong.  I don't believe a word they say and sounds like the DOD thinks the same.

clawman
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clawman,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:46:18 PM
re: NDAA Bill Would Let Military Block LightSquared
Lightsquared is not entitled to a spectrum swap. They knew what they bought so live with it. They got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. The military and GPS users should't have to subsidize a private company. It's not our problem if Phil Falcone made a bad bet. Let's call this company what it is-a fraud.
Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:46:18 PM
re: NDAA Bill Would Let Military Block LightSquared


LightSquared has hired an additional lobbyist. Looks like they'll need the help.


thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/199923-lightsquared-hires-major-k-street-lobby-firm

fgoldstein
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fgoldstein,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:46:17 PM
re: NDAA Bill Would Let Military Block LightSquared


Section 913 of the bill (I have the whole massive text open in my browser, and the search function is handy) says that the Secretary of Defense should conduct a review to see if GPS receivers used for national security will receive interference from "commercial communicatoins services".


Military GPS does not use the 1578 MHz band near the LightSquared frequencies, so it's by no means certain that there is real interference potential to their GPS systems.  It's nice FUD though.

fgoldstein
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fgoldstein,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:46:17 PM
re: NDAA Bill Would Let Military Block LightSquared


Section 913 of the bill (I have the whole massive text open in my browser, and the search function is handy) says that the Secretary of Defense should conduct a review to see if GPS receivers used for national security will receive interference from "commercial communicatoins services".


Military GPS does not use the 1578 MHz band near the LightSquared frequencies, so it's by no means certain that there is real interference potential to their GPS systems.  It's nice FUD though.

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