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LightSquared Offers Plans To Limit GPS Interference

Reston, Va. –


is offering to limit
the initial operation of its 4G LTE network to the lower part of its L-band spectrum
and reduce base-station transmitter power by more than 50 percent to protect
existing GPS devices from interference.

The changes
would enable the carrier to “serve its growing
customer base for the next several years” and use the additional time to work
with government agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
“to explore mitigation possibilities and operational alternatives that will
allow LightSquared to continue to expand its business” by using more of its
allocated spectrum, the company said. During this time, LightSquared said it
would not use the upper portion of its 1525MHz to 1559MHz spectrum to launch its network as originally planned. The
upper portion is closer to the GPS band.

is a solution which ensures that tens of millions of GPS users won’t be
affected by LightSquared’s launch,” contended LightSquared chairman/CEO Sanjiv
Ahuja. “At the same time, this plan offers a clear path for LightSquared to
move forward with the launch of a nationwide wireless network that will
introduce world class broadband service to rural and underserved areas which
still find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide.”

run by LightSquared and GPS suppliers

found that “this lower block of
frequencies is largely free of interference issues with the exception of a
limited number of high-precision GPS receivers that are specifically designed
to rely on LightSquared’s spectrum,” LightSquared said. Such devices are used
in agriculture and other industries. The carrier will limit initial operations
to that portion of the spectrum, and by reducing maximum authorized
base-station transmitter power by more than 50 percent, “will provide
additional protection to GPS,” the startup carrier said.

 For its part, the

to Save Our GPS

last week said limited tests conducted in the lower
portion of the spectrum produced evidence of “significant interference to a
significant number of [high-precision] GPS receivers. Thos tests, however, did
not take into account LightSquared’s proposed reduction in base-station
transmitting power.

 Suppliers of
portable navigation devices [PNDs] had also opposed LightSquared’s initial

  LightSquared plans a satellite- and
terrestrial-based 4G network to provide terrestrial- and satellite-based voice
and data service on a wholesale basis to retailers, cable operators, and other
companies that want to offer service under their own brand.

Best Buy has
entered into an agreement with LightSquared to resell LightSquared’s planned 4G
LTE voice and data service under its own Best Buy Connect brand. And carrier
Leap Wireless, which is building its own 4G LTE network, has entered into a
roaming agreement with LightSquared to extend the areas in which its users can
access 4G.