Washington D.C. - Things are
looking a little darker for LightSquared's proposal to launch a terrestrial 4G
LTE network in a band next to the GPS band.
A government technical group
reviewed the findings of test results sent recently to the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and in its preliminary
analysis, the group said that although the tests "found no significant
interference with [GPS in] cellular phones," the tests did show that
LightSquared signals "caused harmful interference to the majority of other
tested general purpose GPS receivers." Those devices include portable
navigation devices (PNDs), in-dash navigation systems, and other consumer GPS
A separate analysis by the
Federal Aviation Administration found interference with a flight safety system
designed to warn pilots of approaching terrain, the group said.
The group represents the seven
federal agencies that make up the federal government's Space-Based Positioning
Navigation and Timing Executive Committee. The agencies include the departments
of transportation and defense.
The group will over the next
several weeks send its final analysis and a final report to the NTIA and FCC.
NTIA itself is analyzing the test
results, examining potential technical solutions if needed, and developing
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 devices.