LightSquared $14 Billion Investment “Harmfully Interferes” With GPS
Designed by LightSquared, the wholesale LTE service to give consumers additional options for connecting into high-speed mobile Internet has come under attack by the federal government. The problem stems from the alleged interference that its network creates for common GPS devices. More recently, the results of a new government test likely don't help LightSquared win any arguments.
According to Bloomberg's news service, leaked results of government tests indicate that the base stations for LightSquared's proposed 4G LTE network creates “harmful interference” for seventy-five percent of the 92 GPS devices used during the test. Moreover, this harmful interference occurs within 109 yards from the base station. The conclusion of this draft report is that “millions of GPS units are not compatible” with LightSquared's technology.
LightSquared denies the conclusions of the report because they say that in real-world operations of its base stations would run at far lower power than those used during the tests and that the tests themselves used a very conservative threshold for interference. The tests were conducted by the National Telecommunications & Information Administration with assistance provided by the Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration.
On December 14th, the full results of the testing are expected to be presented to the Commerce Department and the Federal Communications Commission. It will be next year before the decision is made as to whether the $14 billion spent by LightSquared will be fruitful.