LightSquared Lit Up About GPS Leak

LightSquared is upset about a leak of test data that claims that its network could disrupt up to 75 percent of current GPS receivers, saying the result doesn't take into account the lower transmit power the network will now use.

A summary of testing conducted between conducted Oct. 31 and Nov. 4 is reported to show that "millions of fielded GPS units are not compatible" with the planned nationwide wholesale Long Term Evolution (LTE) service, according to a draft seen by Bloomberg.

LightSquared struck back at what it called "the premature disclosure of this raw data" ahead of a government meeting about the network next week. "We are confident that a complete review of all the government data by respected industry experts will demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of devices tested exceeded the established standards and support LightSquared's network," said LightSquared's executive VP of ecosystem development and satellite business, Martin Harriman, in a statement Friday.

Harriman said the 75 percent result could only be the product of "deliberately ignoring" LightSquared's proposed reduction in transmit power:

    By ignoring this commitment by LightSquared, this conclusion is erroneously based on estimated power levels that are up to 15 times the levels guaranteed by LightSquared. It is important for the public to understand the purposeful manipulation at hand here: The NTIA, not the leakers of this raw data, will make the final determination about how many devices passed or failed. And that assessment has not yet been made.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

sigint 12/5/2012 | 4:46:49 PM
re: LightSquared Lit Up About GPS Leak

I do wish for ubiquitous LTE adoption, but I do not wish to go back to printed maps while driving.

Did the leaked results say which Satnav's did work? I'll try and pre-order one, before prices shoot through the roof.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:46:49 PM
re: LightSquared Lit Up About GPS Leak

No names yet but if that figure turns out to be anywhere to right, which LightSquared denies since its fixes, then the network will never be switched on.

clawman 12/5/2012 | 4:46:49 PM
re: LightSquared Lit Up About GPS Leak It's time to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on this company. They were supposed to build a satellite network--but snookered the FCC to make the satellite ancillary and the terrestrial the REAL network. How about we conduct a spectrum auction first for the terrestrial spectrum first since it is no longer ancillary. The US Treasury could use the dough.
clawman 12/5/2012 | 4:46:49 PM
re: LightSquared Lit Up About GPS Leak A leak from the hill. Wow, what a surprise!
NetworkOptimizer 12/5/2012 | 4:46:48 PM
re: LightSquared Lit Up About GPS Leak

If I understand correctly, it seems that GPS receivers are not built with enough filters to avoid intereference from other signals. If that is the case, then the burden should be on GPS systems. Doesn't matter how many are there out in the field.

If GPS vendors cut corners to compete in the industry, then they should pay for fixing their problem.

If LightSquared is sending a stronger signal than they were allowed to send, then they should fix the problem.

I also agree with other poster that Lightsquare should pay the market price for the spectrum usage.

krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 4:46:44 PM
re: LightSquared Lit Up About GPS Leak



If the spectrum was used the way it was intended/sold for, then there would be no interference at all.  The problem is that LightSquared wants to use the spectrum differently and by doing so, the output power is higher and is closer to the GPS devices and thus disrupts their use.  So it is not the GPS manufacturers "cheaped out" but the use of the spectrum next to them.


Unless LightSquared is going to cough the money up to replace every GPS receiver in use, then they are stuck in a position they and they alone have placed themselves in.  If they want to wait 10-years before turning the network up, then they can do that.  That would be plenty fo time for the manufacturers to put the correct filters in today for existing devices to be phased out.


This would never have been an issue if the spectrum was used as it was intended for.

NetworkOptimizer 12/5/2012 | 4:46:42 PM
re: LightSquared Lit Up About GPS Leak

Thanks Ian for clarification.

If that is the case, then there shouldn't be any argument at all. LightSquared should use only with permitted power (That might not give them enough bandwidth for their users). Hey, you get what you paid for/asked for/lobbied for.....



krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 4:46:42 PM
re: LightSquared Lit Up About GPS Leak

It goes beyond that, that spectrum was for satellite use and they want to build a network using terrestrial towers.  If they built the network using satellites, then GPS would not be impacted.  The problem is that when they use that sprectrum using terrestrial towers, the signal strength is higher at the GPS device and causes issues.  If LS turns the power down, they need a lot more towers and when near a tower, the GPS device might still have issues.


The FCC did approve of the change of use the LS requested.  Now the industry as a whole is having to deal with that decision.  The arrangements of that change should be called into question.  You had lobbyists for LS requesting meetings with the Whitehouse.  The FCC also granted it without any public input which is very rare to do.


Something stinks about this whole deal.  Pockets were lined and people were bought.


Here is a quick summary of the history from Wikipedia.


"On March 1, 2001, LightSquared's predecessor, Mobile Satellite Ventures applied to the FCC to use a "highly innovative and spectrum-efficient combination of spot-beam satellites and terrestrial base stations to substantially improve coverage, capacity, and reliability of mobile communications without using any additional spectrum."[38]


On January 26, 2011, The Federal Communications Commission granted LightSquared’s Request for Modification of its Authority for an Ancillary Terrestrial Component. The grant allowed LightSquared and its wholesale customers to offer terrestrial-only devices rather than having to incorporate both satellite and terrestrial services.[39] "We find good cause to grant LightSquared a conditional waiver of Section 25.149(b)(4) of the Commission’s rules for services provided by LightSquared using its MSS (Mobile Satellite Services) L-band spectrum,” the FCC noted in its report.[40]"


Notice how the how use changed from a hybrid to a pure terrestrial setup?  Also note the name of the spectrum: Mobile Satellite Services.

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