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LightSquared Agrees To Change to Spare GPS LightSquared Agrees To Change to Spare GPS

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TECHNOLOGY

LightSquared Agrees To Change to Spare GPS

LightSquared said on Monday it will move to a different spot on the spectrum to avoid interfering with sensitive GPS systems.

The Virginia-based broadband company says it can move to a spot that it had reserved for later expansion.

 

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“This is a solution which ensures that tens of millions of GPS users won’t be affected by LightSquared’s launch,” Lightsquared Chairman and CEO Sanjiv Ahuja said in a statement.

“At the same time, this plan offers a clear path for LightSquared to move forward with the launch of a nationwide wireless network that will introduce world-class broadband service to rural and underserved areas, which still find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide,’’ Ahuja added.

 

Last week, LightSquared asked the Federal Communications Commission for extra time to answer questions about whether its proposed wireless network might interfere with GPS signals.

Tests have shown that wireless signals from LightSquared's planned network interfere with GPS receivers used by the Federal Aviation Administration, police, firefighters, the Coast Guard, and NASA.

“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,” the company said in its statement.

“Based on those same early test results, LightSquared 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.”

 

The FCC approved LightSquared’s proposed wireless network in January. It uses a satellite to compete with traditional wireless-broadband providers such as AT&T and Verizon and provides the next generation of wireless service, called 4G-LTE. “The deployment and operation of LightSquared’s network represent more than $14 billion of private investment over the next eight years,” the company says.

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