Federal committee says LightSquared network would be harmful to many GPS devices


A proposed 4G network by wireless broadband firm LightSquared would cause harmful interference to Global Positioning System devices, according to the government organization that deals with GPS matters.

LightSquared’s original and modified plan to mitigate interference to GPS receivers would be harmful to “many” of them, federal officials on the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, said in a letter Friday. The letter to the administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) was in response to the agency’s request for further tests of LightSquared’s proposed mobile network.

NTIA  is responsible for advising the president on telecommunications and information policy.

In the letter, Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Deputy Secretary of the Transportation Department John Porcari also said “there appear to be no practical solutions or mitigations” that would allow LightSquared to operate its network “in the next few months or years without significantly interfering with GPS.”

The proposed network also is not compatible with several aircraft safety-of-flight systems that rely on GPS, according to an analysis by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The deputy secretaries plan to create new GPS spectrum interference standards for commercial use of spectrum adjacent to the GPS signals.



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