FCC Its Broadband Plan
By TWICE Staff On Jul 5 2011 - 4:01am
RESTON, VA. —
LightSquared, the wholesaleonly
integrated wireless broadband and satellite
network, formally presented the company’s modified
spectrum plan to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) and proposed a comprehensive
solution to the GPS interference issue.
LightSquared’s proposal outlines a three-part solution
for resolving GPS interference issues involving
GPS devices, which was detailed in recommendations
filed at the FCC.
The company said GPS device test results, which
were also filed at the FCC late last month, show
that the interference is caused by the GPS device
manufacturer’s decision over the last eight years to
design products that depend on using spectrum assigned
to other FCC licensees.
“This issue will be resolved by good data, smart
engineers and good-faith problem-solving dialog.
The end result will be continuity for the reliable and
safe GPS system we have come to depend on
along with a new high-speed wireless network that
will provide huge benefits to consumers,’’ said Sanjiv
Ahuja, LightSquared chairman and CEO.
In its statement, LightSquared said it is “fully committed
to a safe and robust GPS service.” It said it
will not launch unless the FCC, in consultation with
the NTIA, is satisfied that all reasonable interference
concerns have been addressed.
In the meantime, LightSquared said it “looks forward
to working with the FCC, NTIA, and other federal
agencies” in its effort to find solutions so that it
can move forward with its plan to bring world-class
wireless broadband services and needed competition
to 260 million Americans in 2015.
Prior to LightSquared sending its proposal to
the FCC, testimony was prepared for a hearing by
a House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee
by representatives from GPS supplier Garmin, the Air Transport Association (ATA) and
the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA),
which contended the only way to resolve interference
would be to move LightSquared’s operation
out of the L band altogether to a band farther away
from the GPS band.
Referring to plans to move LightSquared operations
to a lower portion of the L band farther away
from GPS frequencies and to reduce base-station
output, ATA senior VP Tom Hendricks said the plans
were “fraught with technical challenges not yet fully
understood.” Regarding a proposal to apply filters
to high-precision GPS receivers, Hendricks noted
that no such filters exist today.
Even if a technical fix did become feasible, the
costs would be astronomical, Hendricks continued.
“The U.S. airline industry simply cannot afford to
purchase and install it in approximately 6,600 aircraft,
which would cost billions of dollars,” he contended.
Garmin aviation engineering VP Philip Straub
said the LightSquared solution “conveniently ignores
much of the existing user base, especially users
of high-precision GPS equipment.” – Reported
by Joseph Palenchar and Steve Smith