LightSquared Outlines Plan to Fix GPS Interference Issues
LightSquared today released details of a plan it says will help it circumvent the GPS interference problems that a number of tests have concluded its planned network creates. LightSquared explained that it hoped to use a specific 10MHz block of spectrum in the L-Band for its Long Term Evolution network. It found that operating its network in this band did in fact interfere with GPS receivers. LightSquared has access to a second 10MHz block lower in the L-Band spectrum that it was planning to hold in reserve for when its business outgrew the first 10MHz block. Instead, it will use this second 10MHz block, which it says poses a lower threat to GPS systems, for its initial network launch. It will also dial down the power used in its base station transmitters by 50%, which it says provides another level of protection to GPS systems. As it stands, Inmarsat uses a part of the lower 10MHz band that LightSquared needs, and it has secured permission from Inmarsat to use that spectrum earlier than originally planned. LightSquared will also work with the FCC and other bodies to resolve the GPS issues caused in the upper 10MHz block. The company is due to turn in the results of initial GPS interference testing to the FCC on July 1.