AlcaLu Lab Gives LightSquared a Thumbs-Up

LightSquared is claiming compatibility with some high-precision GPS receivers, thanks to test results from Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) lab.

LightSquared's long and dense release on Wednesday never named the "world-renowned independent laboratory" that did the tests. Light Reading Mobile asked LightSquared, and the answer came back: "It's Alcatel-Lucent."

We should note that AlcaLu does have a commercial relationship with LightSquared. AlcaLu signed a deal in 2009 to develop satellite base station subsystems (SBSS) for the company that was then known as SkyTerra. (See LightSquared Grabs $265M, Gets Ready to Deploy Network.)

LightSquared has already used Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs, in beautiful Murray Hill, N.J., for GPS testing, and an antenna developed by PCTEL Inc. (Nasdaq: PCTI) for a high-precision "fix" has been getting the once-over there. (See LightSquared Finds Another GPS Fix.)

LightSquared is proclaiming the test results are another step toward getting its planned LTE network onto the air. Many in the GPS industry have been arrayed against LightSquared this year because they believe that the signals from the company's LTE L-Band base stations could drown out signals that GPS receivers in the adjacent band pick up.

"Testing ... has confirmed that several major high-precision receivers, including those developed by GPS pioneer Javad GNSS, are 100 percent compatible with LightSquared’s network," LightSquared says in its release. "These results show that LightSquared is well on its way to demonstrating that GPS interference issues have been resolved." (See LightSquared Claims High-Precision GPS Fix.)

As well as Javad GNSS and PCTEL, LightSquared says it has also had gear tested from Partron and three other manufacturers.

LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja basically reiterated the company's statement on testing at a press conference in Washington on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.

The GPS issue awaits further testing by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) , and LightSquared must get final approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) before it can work with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) to deploy its network. (See LR Mobile's 2011 Wireless Turkeys.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:47:05 PM
re: AlcaLu Lab Gives LightSquared a Thumbs-Up

They could just re-post their last response. LightSquared isn't saying much new here other than lab tests. None of this will actually be resolved until the fat commissioner sings.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:47:05 PM
re: AlcaLu Lab Gives LightSquared a Thumbs-Up

I'm surprised I haven't seen an outraged response from the Save Our GPS Coalition. Guess that'll come later in the afternoon.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:47:04 PM
re: AlcaLu Lab Gives LightSquared a Thumbs-Up

Ha! Yeah, I think that's pretty much what they did (we got the press release a few minutes ago), in addition to criticizing, fairly, the AlcaLu test:

"It’s important to keep in mind that these are LightSquared-sponsored tests separate from the ongoing, independent testing being conducted under the auspices of the NTIA" [which are due out in mid-December, which would be next week].

"In fact, we know that the results announced today do not address proven interference to hundreds of thousands of existing high-precision GPS receivers..." etc.etc.etc.

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