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Key Federal Technical Committee Puts the Brakes on LightSquared’s LTE Network

January 21, 2012
As AGC reported previously, a company called LightSquared is planning to build a national mobile internet network to compete with the data signal offered by major cell phone companies. Early reports indicated that the spectrum they planned to use was too close to the signal band used by the Global Positioning System, causing signal bleed and interference, particularly for the sensitive GPS receivers aboard agricultural and construction equipment. The National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Executive Committee had been asked by the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to test and analyze LightSquared's original plan, as well as plan modifications designed to reduce interference with GPS. In a Jan. 13 letter, the Committee, which represents nine federal departments and agencies, said "Based upon this testing and analysis, there appear to be no practical solutions or mitigations that would permit the LightSquared broadband service, as proposed, to operate in the next few months or years without significantly interfering with GPS." The Committee’s unanimous conclusion makes LightSquared’s plan very difficult to accomplish, as the FCC has made the successful resolution of these interference issues a condition for granting LightSquared permission to proceed. AGC will continue to work with the ‘Save Our GPS’ Coalition to ensure the GPS signals that drive many pieces of construction and underground utility location equipment are preserved. For more information, please contact Scott Berry at (703) 837-5321 or berrys@agc.org
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