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NTIA Concerned About Lightsquared LTE Interference
Could slow $7 billion hybrid network build by Nokia
by Karl Bode 09:02AM Monday Jan 17 2011
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.

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n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Lobbying

If Lightsquared is smart, they will take a chapter from the now defunct BPL industry and bribe lobby the FCC to leave them alone and let them do their thing. If they do indeed cause interference, I guess I will not have to worry about updating my Garmin's anymore.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 edit

Re: Lobbying

Where is the interference to come from? It can't be the ground based LTE portion of the network, since Verizon and others are not getting any concerns from the FCC over that. So what is unique about the satellite portion of the system that has the military so wound up. Is it purely concerns about GPS or is it something else?

I searched for technical reasons about the potential interference, but could find nothing but generic interference concerns. No reason WHY interference is thought to be an issue.

S_engineer
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Chicago, IL

Re: Lobbying

I would guess its the amount of base stations they're talking about deploying. 18,000 by 2013
--
"Thanks for the dance... and cut yourself a slice'a throat! "
- Curly (HOI POLLOI, 1935)

S_engineer
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Chicago, IL
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. According to Bloomberg; "The U.S. defense, transportation and homeland security departments want the Federal Communications Commission to defer action on LightSquareds request to modify its satellite license to build a nationwide wireless network, Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary of communications and information in the Commerce Department, said in a letter yesterday to the FCC. "

This means LightSquared has alot more work to do
--
"Thanks for the dance... and cut yourself a slice'a throat! "
- Curly (HOI POLLOI, 1935)

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Re: Lobbying

said by S_engineer:

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.

Perhaps but even "just Garmins" is telling GPS users to go pound sand because Lightsquared is more important than civilian navigation.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

S_engineer
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Chicago, IL

Re: Lobbying

you're right. But you know who ultimately wins these days...the one with the most cash!
cornelius785

join:2006-10-26
Worcester, MA

Re: Lobbying

but when one of the 'whos' is the DoD + federal government that has a limitless supply of money, how do out beat that?

S_engineer
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Chicago, IL

Re: Lobbying

You vote for "Hope and Change"

Sorry, too wide open!

John L

@comcast.net

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.

mix

join:2002-03-19
Utica, MI

Re: Did you read the letter?

And the anonymous poster hits the nail on the head! Also, some more information on the problem from GPS World:

»www.gpsworld.com/gnss-system/new···-interfe

Andy from CA
Premium
join:2008-09-05
Anaheim, CA

Re: Did you read the letter?

So, the FCC approves of something that would interfere with existing services. Can anyone say HD Radio?