LightSquared Wireless Service Signals Interrupt 75 Percent of GPS Receivers
December 12, 2011 1:00 PM
LightSquared deals with continued GPS interference
U.S. officials say no additional testing is needed to prove the existence of harmful interference
A recent government study found that the LightSquared Inc. wireless service interrupted 75 percent of global-positioning system (GPS) receivers.
LightSquared Inc. is a company looking to offer a wholesale 4G
LTE wireless broadband communications network
with satellite coverage in the United States. It was founded by Philip Falcone and has had interference issues for years now. Just this year alone, interference concerns were raised by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), USAF Space Command, and the U.S. GPS Industry Council.
Now, a test conducted by the U.S. government has shown that 69 of 92 (75 percent) of receivers experienced "harmful interference" at the equivalent of 100 meters from a LightSquared base station. It was deemed that millions of GPS units were incompatible with the LightSquared service, and it could affect cars, planes, boats and tractors.
The test was performed from October 31 to November 4 for the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Systems Engineering Forum, which advises policy makers about GPS issues. The Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration took part in the testing, as well as companies like Garmin Ltd., Trimble Navigation Ltd., Deere & Co., and General Motor Co.'s OnStar unit.
"LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to majority of GPS receivers tested," said U.S. officials in a draft prepared for the review of the LightSquared proposal. "No additional testing is required to confirm
harmful interference exists
LightSquared has proposed that it operate at a reduced power than the levels used during the testing. With low power usage, LightSquared believes its services would only affect 10 percent of devices.
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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