Government Group Sees LightSquared Interference


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 devices.

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 recommendations.

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.


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