On Dec. 20, LightSquared petitioned the agency about the waiver it issued on Jan. 23 2011 to allow the operator to build an LTE network in L-Band spectrum. The L-Band spectrum is right next to bandwidth used by GPS receivers and some of them would "see" transmissions from the planned network, causing interference.
LightSquared said that the GPS industry had known for eight years that a terrestrial network in the L-Band spectrum was coming from LightSquared or its predecessors. Yet the industry didn't change the design of their receivers. "Commercial GPS receivers are not licensed, do not operate under any service rules, and thus are not entitled to any interference protection whatsoever," LightSquared claimed in its December petition.
The FCC has now opened up a public comment period on this. It will run until Feb. 27 with follow-ups due by March 13.
Why this matters The FCC move appears to give LightSquared a bit more time for testing before the vultures start to circle. The company is arguing against previous government tests that say the planned network does cause interference with GPS. LightSquared claims collusion with the GPS industry "rigged" the results and says that only the FCC can decide what happens with the spectrum.
LightSquared's network partner, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), has put its deal with the operator on hold until the interference issue is resolved. Harbinger Capital Partners LP -backed LightSquared, meanwhile, has said that it has enough money to continue operations for the next several quarters.
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- LightSquared Calls GPS Tests 'Rigged'
- Government Agencies Blast LightSquared
- Sprint Gives LightSquared 30-Day Extension
- 2011 Top Ten: LightSquared in the Limelight
- LightSquared Files GPS-Test Data
- LightSquared to GPS Industry: Get Bent
- NDAA Bill Would Let Military Block LightSquared
- Sprint's $13.5B Jump to LTE With LightSquared
- LightSquared Plans LTE Launch Next Year
- LightSquared 'Confident' of FCC Approval in 2012
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile