LightSquared's network affects majority of GPS units in US

LightSquared wants to build a 4G wireless network in the US. The plan is to sell off access to the network to wholesale businesses. However, the company has been hit by critics who claim that the network creates interference with signals sent to global positioning satellite units. Last June, LightSquared claimed that it had solved these issues, but a newly leaked study from the government says otherwise.

Businessweek.com reports that the tests on LightSquared's network were handled by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The tests themselves, which were conducted between October 31 to November 4, indicated that “millions of fielded GPS units are not compatible" with the wireless network. In fact the number could be as high as 75 percent of GPS units.

The study concluded, "LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to majority of GPS receivers tested. No additional testing is required to confirm harmful interference exists."

The study itself wasn't supposed to be released until next week. Naturally, LightSquared doesn't care for the results of the study to be released early. In an email to Businessweek.com Martin Harriman, executive vice president of LightSquared, said in an email that the company is "outraged by the illegal leak of incomplete government data". He added, "This breach attempts to draw an inaccurate conclusion to negatively influence the future of LightSquared and narrowly serve the business interests of the GPS industry."

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6 Comments

neufuse said,
LightSquared needs to just give up and admit they bought a bad lock of spectrum...

That's not even true. They have had this spectrum and have been using it for its intended purpose. Now they want to repurpose it and use it at a much higher transmit power. That kind of spectrum costs WAY more than what they paid for this spectrum.

Melfster said,
Or maybe the GPS industry needs to fix there bad receivers.

No they don't. The receivers are fine. The Spectrum LightSquared owns was sold under the condition that the transmitters won't doesn't exceed a certain power level. GPS units were built taking that into consideration. Now LightSquared wants to re-purpose it, transmitting at a much higher power level that the GPS receivers weren't built to be able to filter out.

Melfster said,
Or maybe the GPS industry needs to fix there bad receivers.

Really people using 10 or 15 year old GPS devices that the company is not longer in business or the radio can't be updated even by the MFR should just throw their GPS units away?

How about the ones in Cars? Time to throw away that 2000 Corvette uh?

thenetavenger said,

Really people using 10 or 15 year old GPS devices that the company is not longer in business or the radio can't be updated even by the MFR should just throw their GPS units away?

How about the ones in Cars? Time to throw away that 2000 Corvette uh?


Yes.

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