LightSquared Confident in Q3 Launch Schedule

LightSquared says it's on track to launch initial Long Term Evolution (LTE) markets in the third quarter of 2011 as it works through possible GPS interference issues with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and others.

"That is the plan of record," Jeff Carlisle, executive vice president for regulatory affairs and public policy at LightSquared, tells Light Reading Mobile in a call Tuesday afternoon. "Clearly, the FCC, by its actions, is keen to have us go ahead."

The FCC has given the company the go-ahead to launch its service, after it has worked through the interference issue with government agencies and the GPS industry. (See FCC Lets LightSquared Pass 'Go'.)

Any potential problems involve the relatively high-powered transmissions of the company's L-Band base stations, rather than the operations of its satellites or devices in that band. Basically, Carlisle says, LightSquared needs to work with the industry to see which GPS equipment needs "filtering so that they don't look into our band."

This will involve tests of GPS receivers. The FCC wants to start the process on Feb. 25 and have it completed by June 15, 2011.

"It's a fast process," Carlisle notes.

LightSquared is testing LTE in Baltimore, Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix now. It is expected to launch up to nine Midwest markets this year. (See Rumor: LightSquared Ready to Spend Big on LTE.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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