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LightSquared Says They've Solved Interference Issues
Developing New Technology With Javad GNSS
by Karl Bode 06:23PM Wednesday Sep 21 2011
LightSquared has been taking a beating from all sides concerning their network's potential to interfere with any and every industry that relies on GPS -- ranging from agricultural industries to weather tracking operations. Back in June LightSquared filed a new plan with the FCC claiming they'd resolved GPS interference issues with a plan to use a 10 MHz swath of L-band spectrum in the lower portion of the company's spectrum assets.

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However, GPS industry folks pointed out while this was an improvement in some instances, LightSquared's services still would interfere with highly-sensitive precision GPS gear. This week LightSquared insisted that the company has come up with a "simple, affordable" solution for that remaining interference in conjunction with a company Javad GNSS. From the company's press release:
quote:
The Javad GNSS system can be adapted to work with high-precision GPS devices including those already in the agriculture, surveying, construction and defense industries. Javad GNSS has completed the design, made prototypes and tested those prototypes. Preproduction units will be released for public tests in October, followed by mass production. High-precision receivers for positioning applications are expected to go to market by November 2011 and precision timing devices by March 2012.
Nowhere is it specified how much this solution will cost. The GPS industry and a long list of government agencies have been demanding additional interference tests, and the Javad solution will certainly be added to the list.

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Camelot One
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join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
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1 recommendation

Reminds me of this......

»video.google.com/videoplay?docid···rockwell

koitsu
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Mountain View, CA
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Re: Reminds me of this......

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLDgQg6bq7o

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whazhere

@telus.net

GPS neeeds new filter new units?

So I am reading this right,,,,, that people have to buy new GPS units(or add on filters) to make up for the interference from LightSquared? what a crock.. Almost like the City saying people need to buy a big 4x4 truck to avoid that 6" deep pothole on main street, anywhere town, that never gets fixed.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: GPS neeeds new filter new units?

no LQ's equipment would have the filters installed.
rahvin112

join:2002-05-24
Sandy, UT

1 edit

1 recommendation

Re: GPS neeeds new filter new units?

This "software" update is on the high precision GPS gear (such as all the surveying equipment sold for the last 20 years), not the LTE equipment.
Expand your moderator at work
rahvin112

join:2002-05-24
Sandy, UT
No, it's even better. They already own that pimped out super expensive 4x4 and they are being told that they have to go replace the engine because some big company intends to make sure every gallon of gas sold has a half gallon of water mixed into it.

Seriously, their solution to the problem is that everyone else has to go retrofit or buy new GPS gear? The high precision GPS equipment is VERY expensive. Some companies and individuals own several 10's of thousands of dollars worth of equipment and there are probably companies like John Deere that this would cost hundreds of millions.

I say let it go through, on the condition that lightsquared has to pay to make every single user of GPS in the nation whole (just like the government is required by law to), including if necessary replacing every single GPS receiver or ancillary device that's impacted by their signal. (that includes the millitary) If they have to pay to replace all those high precision GPS receivers I bet they change their mind real quick. But they just love the idea of forcing everyone else to replace their gear.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Re: GPS neeeds new filter new units?

said by rahvin112:

No, it's even better. They already own that pimped out super expensive 4x4 and they are being told that they have to go replace the engine because some big company intends to make sure every gallon of gas sold has a half gallon of water mixed into it.

Which is why I believe the GPS manufacturers, in secret, are salivating over the prospect of LS going live. The money they stand to make as everyone has to buy new GPS equipment is huge. The government will get their equipment for "free" courtesy of the taxpayers but think of all the PND's that Garmin, Magellan and Tom Tom can sell to replace the ones we now have that will be jammed.
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Oh_No
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join:2011-05-21
Chicago, IL

1 edit

Soo... They do not have a solution!

Basically saying that everyones equipment is garbage and forcing them to replace it is not a solution.
All it says they will do is try to develop a fix, they dont even have one yet.
Lightsquared = failed

GPS was first and paid for by all Americans, lightsquared needs to find non-satellite spectrum for terrestrial use.
We already know lightsquared will not be successful as they are trying to do the exact same thing as clear. The customers are not there to justify such a large network and be profitable otherwise clear would be very successful.

swintec
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Re: Soo... They do not have a solution!

said by Oh_No:

GPS was first and paid for by all Americans, lightsquared needs to find non-satellite spectrum for terrestrial use.
We already know lightsquared will not be successful as they are trying to do the exact same thing as clear. The customers are not there to justify such a large network and be profitable otherwise clear would be very successful.

If anything, this f*ck up is because of the FCC granting permission in the first place for this frequency. If they do not let it go through, then the FCC needs to step in and get some sort of frequency swap or some other solution in place.

At least for the consumer, I do not think this is that big of a deal to have to buy new GPS units. I bought some rabbit ear antennas years ago and was told they would work but god damnit I had to buy MORE equipment a couple of years ago because things changed! Stuff evolves.
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r81984
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Re: Soo... They do not have a solution!

said by swintec:

said by Oh_No:

GPS was first and paid for by all Americans, lightsquared needs to find non-satellite spectrum for terrestrial use.
We already know lightsquared will not be successful as they are trying to do the exact same thing as clear. The customers are not there to justify such a large network and be profitable otherwise clear would be very successful.

If anything, this f*ck up is because of the FCC granting permission in the first place for this frequency. If they do not let it go through, then the FCC needs to step in and get some sort of frequency swap or some other solution in place.

At least for the consumer, I do not think this is that big of a deal to have to buy new GPS units. I bought some rabbit ear antennas years ago and was told they would work but god damnit I had to buy MORE equipment a couple of years ago because things changed! Stuff evolves.

Nope, the spectrum is for satellite use only and was used for satellite phones. Lightsquared bought the spectrum to offer satellite internet.
They then have been trying to get a waiver from the FCC to build a ground network on those frequencies.
Giving them a waiver would make the spectrum 10 times more valuable, but would jam GPS.

This is fucked up because the FCC actually entertained the idea of a waiver when their engineers knew it would have interference with GPS.
If lightsquared does not want to offer satellite internet as their original intention then they need to sell the spectrum to someone else.

FYI, GPS satellites were paid for by the American taxpayers. We have no reason to throw away our 100s of billions in investments.
Also while people probably paid $100 to $500 for their GPS, companies have GPS equipment and systems that have cost them millions of dollars.
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ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
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Speak for yourself, not for the other millions of families living paycheck to paycheck. The GPS unit I own would serve its purpose probably for another 10 years. Want to buy me a new one Richy Rich ?

swintec
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Re: Soo... They do not have a solution!

said by ITALIAN926:

Speak for yourself, not for the other millions of families living paycheck to paycheck. The GPS unit I own would serve its purpose probably for another 10 years. Want to buy me a new one Richy Rich ?

The two garmins i have i got for free to begin with but i tend to use the navigation on my phone included in my plan. id probably just get another free one if i had to.

Im sure there will be a government voucher program as well. Cash For Clunkers 2!!
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jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI
said by swintec:

At least for the consumer, I do not think this is that big of a deal to have to buy new GPS units.

You don't, eh? Well, since it's not such a big deal to you, perhaps you would care to pay to replace my existing GPS devices? Let's see...

  • Garmin marine GPS: $600
  • TomTom street GPS: $100
  • Two cell phones + accessories: $600-$700 (est.)
  • Two Android tablets + accessories: $700

Let me know if you agree and I'll tell you where to send the check.

Thanks!

Jim

andyb
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SW Ontario
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Why

Why did the gov sell a frequency already in use anyway?Doesnt make sence.Give LS their money back or give em some other frequency thats usable

r81984
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Re: Why

said by andyb:

Why did the gov sell a frequency already in use anyway?Doesnt make sence.Give LS their money back or give em some other frequency thats usable

The spectrum that LS'd bought was for satellite use only.
It was used by a satellite phone company and then lightsquared bought the spectrum with the intention to offer satellite broadband.
After lightsquared purchased they fought/bribed the FCC to give them a waiver to allow ground transmitters in a satellite only spectrum. Not getting a waiver does not warrant them a refund.

If LS does not want to do satellite broadband anymore then they need to sell the spectrum to someone else, no refunds for companies that make stupid decisions.
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rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO
In the middle of the last decade, the FCC sold LightSquared spectrum that is adjacent to GPS frequencies. It was sold to them with the permission to use it for satellite-based data connectivity with occasional terrestrial tower augmentation.

Due to power constraints, satellites have limited transmit power and even in low orbit, are hundreds of miles away. In geo-sync orbit, they are 25,000 miles away. By the time the satellite signals reach the ground, they are weak and require sensitive receivers. GPS signals are also satellite based and are similar in strength to other satellite signals. Even though the frequencies are adjacent, two weak signals next to each other can coexist peacefully.

Recently LightSquared asked the FCC to change their license and allow them to use the spectrum for a huge, almost entirely terrestrial based, high power system. The FCC granted their request even though it was probably a bad idea for the GPS industry. I have read that even the FCC claims that this was planned, the GPS industry knew about it and failed to prepare prepare for the future. I have also read some who claim the FCC was pressured by the administration to approve the request because one of President Obama's goals is to improve rural access to high speed Internet and this was a step in the right direction.

Regardless of the FCC's past or current position and motivation, terrestrial transmitters are much more powerful and not as distant as satellite transmitters. The more powerful signal now overpowers and causes significant interference with the weaker adjacent GPS signals. This confuses the GPS equipment and minimally reduces their accuracy. During tests, it was also shown to completely inhibit GPS services even when the devices were several miles from the tower. When the interference was proven, the FCC withheld their approval for LightSquared's use until the GPS interference problems could be resolved.

Some claim that this isn't LightSquared's problem because some high precision GPS equipment is actually "tuned" to listen to GPS frequencies outside of the actual GPS spectrum. Since the GPS receivers are listening to frequencies that don't belong to GPS, this is a GPS industry problem and they should solve it by improving their receivers.

A fair question would be to ask why do high precision GPS receivers respond to frequencies outside of the GPS spectrum? This is by design because LightSquared actually sells satellite services that are specifically designed to enhance GPS accuracy. Therefore high-quality receivers use wide-band filters so they can pickup these additional GPS signals, in LightSquared's spectrum, and enhance their accuracy.

So what's really going on? In simple terms, a builder has purchased a piece of property next to your subdivision. At first the builder promises to build a new subdivision that's compatible with the lot sizes and houses in your subdivision. Years go by and the property remains undeveloped. Suddenly a new developer buys the property and petitions the city for permission to change the zoning from residential to commercial. The city approves the proposal but the residents in the adjacent subdivision lodge complaints with their council members and at the last minute, the city adds restrictions to the zoning approval in that the developer must appease the adjacent subdivision by mitigating their concerns about noise and light pollution. The developer compromises by agreeing to reserve a "green zone" between the development and the adjacent subdivision. In the end, all of the houses whose property is adjacent to the new development will have to install tall fences to maintain their current level of peace and privacy.

Now everyone in the subdivision hates the developer but it was really the city that should have never approved the zoning request and demanded that the developer use the land for the original zoned purpose. However the developer initially gained approval from the city to build a shopping center and has now secured investors who were interested in that plan, not more residential housing. Unless the city agrees to cover the developer's investments and potential opportunity losses, there's not really a good solution for either the developer or the home owners in the adjacent subdivision.

Of course the cynical side of me also feels compelled to mention that there's a rumor about the mayor investing money in the shopping center plan along with several council members and that the profit opportunity motivated their original approval decision.
slckusr
Premium
join:2003-03-17
Greenville, SC
kudos:1

Our solution is...

To make the other people fix their stuff! and I agree, Devices need to stay on their assigned frequencies.

r81984
Fair and Balanced
Premium
join:2001-11-14
Katy, TX

Re: Our solution is...

They do and that is why the spectrum was created as satellite only. No one can change the laws of physics.
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marigolds
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Saint Louis, MO
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GNSS is not a solution

So, LightSquared's answer is to stop using GPS and switch to the Russian location system.
That is far from a solution, especially for the defense industry. GNSS is a decent complementary system, but it cannot replace high accuracy GPS for US industries.