LightSquared tries to revive broadband network

Mar 19, 2012 By ANICK JESDANUN , AP Technology Writer

A Virginia company is trying to revive its plan for a national high-speed wireless network, arguing that it can address federal regulators' concerns over interference with GPS devices.

LightSquared's bid won't be easy. The has decided to revoke LightSquared's permit after a federal review found that its network interfered with dozens of personal-navigation devices and aircraft-control systems that rely on GPS. LightSquared made its pleading with the FCC last week as part of public comments on the revocation plans.

LightSquared said regulators' conclusions were based on a flawed analysis by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, a federal agency that coordinates .

But even if GPS exists, the company said, LightSquared should have the opportunity to fix it or be given alternate wireless frequencies that would not interfere with GPS. LightSquared said it had already spent $4 billion on the project after receiving preliminary approval and encouragement from the FCC.

The FCC had seen LightSquared's proposal as a way to make more airwaves available to feed consumers' appetites for movies, music and games on a variety of . LightSquared had hoped to compete nationally with super-fast, fourth-generation wireless services being rolled out by AT&T, Verizon Wireless and other traditional wireless companies.

Makers of GPS devices and those who rely on them feared that GPS signals would suffer the way a radio station can get drowned out by a stronger broadcast on a nearby channel. The problem is that sensitive GPS receivers, designed to pick up relatively weak signals from space, could be overwhelmed by high-power signals from as many as 40,000 LightSquared transmitters on the ground. LightSquared planned to transmit on a frequency adjacent to the one used by GPS.

When the gave LightSquared tentative approval last year to build the network, it said the company wouldn't be allowed to start operations until the government was satisfied that any problems had been addressed.

In Friday's filing, LightSquared said interference wasn't caused by its proposed network, but by GPS manufacturers' failure to properly engineer devices.

"Stated another way, some GPS manufacturers have made poor design choices and have sold defective product," the company said.

GPS manufacturers have insisted that their devices were designed to screen out low-power signals in LightSquared's spectrum, and it wouldn't be fair if the government changed the rules to permit stronger signals after millions of devices had already been sold.

Explore further: Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

4 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tests show wireless network could harm GPS systems

Jun 30, 2011

Test results filed with federal regulators Thursday show that a proposed high-speed wireless broadband network being planned by a Virginia company called LightSquared could interfere with GPS systems used for everything from aviation to high-precision ti ...

LightSquared gets extension for GPS test results

Jun 16, 2011

Federal regulators have granted a Virginia company called LightSquared a two-week extension to report on recent tests that aimed to determine whether its proposed high-speed wireless broadband network would cripple GPS systems ...

US regulators pull plug on LightSquared

Feb 15, 2012

US telecom regulators have pulled the plug on an ambitious plan to build a high-speed wireless broadband network, citing potential interference with GPS navigation devices.

Sprint ends deal with LightSquared

Mar 16, 2012

(AP) -- Sprint Nextel Corp. is ending its spectrum hosting agreement with LightSquared, whose network looks doomed because regulators say it interferes with GPS navigation devices.

Tests show wireless network could jam GPS systems

Jun 11, 2011

New government test results show that a proposed high-speed wireless broadband network being launched by a company called LightSquared could jam GPS systems used for aviation, public safety, military operations and other ...

Recommended for you

FX says overnight ratings becoming meaningless

6 hours ago

(AP)—It's a rite nearly as old as television: the morning after a new show premieres, network executives wait impatiently for the Nielsen company's estimate of how many people watched, and rush to report ...

Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

Jul 21, 2014

Verizon Wireless is launching a nationwide loyalty program this week for its 100-million-plus subscribers. There's a twist, though: To earn points for every dollar spent, subscribers must consent to have their movements tracked ...

Verizon boosts FiOS uploads to match downloads

Jul 21, 2014

Verizon is boosting the upload speeds of nearly all its FiOS connections to match the download speeds, vastly shortening the time it takes for subscribers to send videos and back up their files online.

The goTenna device pitch is No Service, No Problem

Jul 18, 2014

In the new age of Internet-based crowdfunding with special price offers, where startup teams try to push their product closer and closer to the gate of entry, goTenna's campaign offers a most attractive pitch. ...

Maths can make the internet 5-10 times faster

Jul 17, 2014

Mathematical equations can make Internet communication via computer, mobile phone or satellite many times faster and more secure than today. Results with software developed by researchers from Aalborg University ...

User comments : 0