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Government Analyzing GPS-Interference Tests

12/01/2011 03:18:39 PM Eastern

Washington, D.C. - The National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is analyzing the
results of tests designed to gauge whether LightSquared's proposed terrestrial
LTE network will interfere with the operation of GPS receivers in cellphones,
car navigation systems, and other consumer-oriented devices used for marine and
outdoor recreation activities.

The federal agency said it would "promptly"
analyze the results, examine potential technical solutions if needed, and
develop recommendations, as it announced in an earlier statement. A spokesperson,
however, gave no specific deadline for the NTIA to issue its conclusions.

The NTIA also plans to review the results of
separate tests planned for GPS receivers used for high-precision and timing
applications. Those tests will include GPS devices modified with new
filtering technology that LightSquared and other companies have said will solve
interference and would need to be added to existing GPS devices. A start date
for those tests hasn't been determined, the spokesperson said.

LightSquared has said that
previous testing showed that planned modifications to its network deployment
would "resolve interference" with all but high-precision GPS devices, which
consist of GPS devices used in aviation, agriculture, construction, engineering,
surveying, disaster monitoring, and government applications. The company
proposed new filtering technology that could be added to high-precision GPS
devices to eliminate interference.

But a coalition of GPS industry
groups opposed to LightSquared's plans has dismissed the assertions. The
Coalition to Save Our GPS contended that previous tests
found that LightSquared interfered with GPS in six of 39 cellphones and with 20
of 29 general location/navigation receivers. The group also cast doubts on the
effectiveness of adding filters to these devices and high-precision GPS
devices.

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