LightSquared has proposed a solution to the problem of interference with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers.
LightSquared has proposed a solution to the problem of interference with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers. According to LightSquared, this solution will permit the wholesale LTE provider to proceed with its business plan and protect the public’s stake in GPS.
Company said that early test results indicated that one of LightSquared’s 10MHz blocks of frequencies poses interference to many GPS receivers. This block happens to be the specific set of frequencies that LightSquared planned to use for the initial launch of its nationwide wireless broadband network.
Based on those same early test results, LightSquared has determined that another 10MHz block of the spectrum did not create such an interference risk. This block is lower on the spectrum band and located further away from the GPS frequencies, greatly reducing the risk for interference.
LightSquared says that this lower block of frequencies is largely free of interference issues with the exception of a limited number of high precision GPS receivers that are specifically designed to rely on LightSquared’s spectrum. I
After assessing this information, LightSquared has began developing an alternative deployment plan focused on the lower block of spectrum to launch its nationwide wireless broadband service. It also entered negotiations with Inmarsat, the satellite company that controls the alternative block of spectrum in the L Band, to accelerate the schedule for LightSquared to begin using the frequencies.
LightSquared recently reached an agreement with Inmarsat that will allow the rollout of its wireless network in a timeframe that keeps to the original business plan and is in accordance with regulatory requirements. As part of this revised plan, LightSquared will modify its FCC license to reduce the maximum authorized power of its base-station transmitters by over 50%. This action will limit LightSquared to the power it was authorized to use in 2005, which will provide additional protection to GPS.
This new plan will give LightSquared enough spectrum to serve its growing customer base for the next several years. During this time, LightSquared will not use the spectrum it originally planned to use for the launch of its network.
LightSquared will use this time to work closely with the FCC and the NTIA, as well as the relevant US government agencies and commercial GPS users, to explore mitigation possibilities and operational alternatives.