LightSquared to GPS Industry: Get Bent

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
12/20/2011



LightSquared said Tuesday evening that it has filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking for a ruling on its rights to use L-Band spectrum for its hybrid satellite and terrestrial network and declaring that unlicensed GPS receivers have no right to interference protection.

The filing, which you can read here, states that the FCC has had the GPS industry on notice for eight years that LightSquared -- or its predecessors -- could build a network in the licensed L-Band spectrum. Yet, vendors continued to build GPS devices that look into LightSquared's allocated bandwidth.

Therefore, any interference happening is the GPS industry's fault, because their devices "are purposefully designed to look into LightSquared’s licensed spectrum," said Jeff Carlisle, LightSquared’s executive vice president for regulatory affairs, in a prepared statement.

"Commercial GPS receivers are not licensed, do not operate under any service rules, and thus are not entitled to any interference protection whatsoever," LightSquared writes in its petition to the agency.

The aggressively worded petition follows a joint statement released Wednesday from the U.S. departments of transportation and defense, which said that tests found that the network could cause "harmful interference to the majority of other tested general purpose GPS receivers."

LightSquared has said that the tests didn't take into account the company's plan to reduce the transmit power of the LTE base stations.

Why this matters
This is lightSquared's most upfront attempt yet to get the FCC to make a concrete decision on its proposed LTE network. The prospects for the network launch have appeared to dim recently after the recent tests and suggestions that the military will have more of a say in the future of the service.

Read more
Keep up with the fast-moving LightSquared space opera below:



— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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