NTIA Concerned About Lightsquared LTE Interference
Could slow $7 billion hybrid network build by Nokia
In a letter last week to the FCC, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration told the agency that Lightsquared's hybrid LTE/satellite network may interfere with global satellite systems for navigation, aeronautical emergency communications systems and receivers used by Federal agencies. According to Bloomberg
, the additional FCC research could slow the company's plan to trial service in Baltimore, Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix early this year. In a letter
(pdf) to the NTIA, Lightsquared says they'll spend up to $20 million on forming a coalition research group to explore and prevent interference. The network is supposed to be designed as a wholesale operation, possibly drawing interest from carriers like T-Mobile and MetroPCS. However, funding concerns continues to raise questions about whether or not the network ever gets off the ground
Glen Head, NY
said by S_engineer:Perhaps but even "just Garmins" is telling GPS users to go pound sand because Lightsquared is more important than civilian navigation. said by n2jtx:
I guess I will not have to worry about updating my Garmin's anymore.
If it was just Garmins, thats one thing. But planes, boats, spacecraft is another.
I support the right to keep and arm bears.
Did you read the letter? The issue here is that GPS receivers have relatively poor filters, and are subject to interference from high power signals in the L band. When MSS/ATC operation was first proposed, the number of ATC transmitters was thought to be small, because it was part of an integrated system with the satellite.
What LS wants to do is basically dump using the satellite and use the spectrum for cellular operation, spectrum they received for free, and not via an auction because it was designed for satellite operation.
Now with tens of thousands of base stations (that transmit in the low part of the band, unlike most cellular systems where the base stations transmit in the high part of the band), those high power signals are all over the place and will interfere with far weaker GPS signals from space. The GPS receivers specs never intended to deal with this situation, so they will have problems. This is a very big deal.
BTW, this is not a new problem. This was understood when LS first proposed this use. The FCC ignored the issue to get some good PR from putting spectrum to use etc... The way to read this letter is that NTIA got sick and tired of telling the FCC to stop until they figure out a solution and being ignored, and went public on this.
The FCC seems to be pretty clueless here, though I know they have engineers who understand the problem, so it must be management ignoring them again.
The bottom line is the LS is pretty screwed here, but then they should have known better in the first place.