LightSquared May Sue Detractors Over GPS Fears
LightSquared has threatened to sic its lawyers on those opposing its planned Long Term Evolution 4G network, according to a statement made by a company executive. "If it is impossible to get a decision on this that allows us to go forward, I think our way forward is pretty clear, that we then have to insist on our legal rights," said Jeffrey Carlisle, LightSquared's vice president of regulatory affairs and public policy. "If you have to be the bad guy, and go out and start ... insisting on your property line, well, then that's what we'll do." LightSquared is waiting for the Federal Communications Commission to sign off on its plans to build a nationwide LTE 4G network using L-band spectrum. L-band spectrum had previously been reserved for satellite-based services. The FCC gave LightSquared provisional permission if LightSquared can prove that its network won't interfere with nearby GPS signals. Extensive testing has shown that LightSquared's network does in fact interfere with those signals. LightSquared has altered its network plans, switching to a lower swath of its spectrum, and will reduce the power output of its amplifiers to alleviate the interference. These steps have not quieted the GPS industry, which insists that LightSquared's network will cripple their own services. LightSquared says that the GPS industry is squatting on LightSquared's spectrum in some instances, and thinks the GPS industry needs to make adjustments of its own. The FCC has not made a final decision.
AT&T Wants LTE-U Opponents to Agree to Play Fair
Joan Marsh, AT&T's vice president of federal and regulatory affairs, today prosed that the FCC use existing rules to help organizations on opposite sides of the LTE-U debate find some middle ground. LTE-U is the use of LTE services over unlicensed spectrum, or WiFi frequencies.
FCC Relaxes Rules Governing 800 MHz Spectrum
The FCC this week made it easier for carriers to add LTE to their 800 MHz spectrum holdings. Rules concerning the 800 MHz band (CDMA Band Class 0, LTE Band 5) have been in place since 1981 and limit how much power carriers can use to transmit wireless signals across those airwaves.
Verizon Starts Cannibalizing 3G Airwaves for LTE 4G
Verizon Wireless has begun testing the use of LTE 4G on its PCS spectrum, airwaves it primarily uses to operate its CDMA-EVDO 3G network, in Manhattan. GigaOm confirmed with Verizon that the company has begun to steal capacity from its 3G network in favor of 4G, though it is doing so slowly and in limited scope.
T-Mobile Rolling Out LTE-U
T-Mobile today said it is beginning to upgrade its 4G network with LTE-U this spring. LTE-U allows LTE to operate on the unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz band, which is typically reserved for WiFi.
FCC Gives Verizon and Qualcomm Permission to Test LTE-U
The FCC is allowing Verizon and Qualcomm to move forward with limited tests of LTE in unlicensed spectrum bands generally reserved for WiFi. Specifically, the companies are being allowed to perform small-scale tests at two Verizon facilities, one in Oklahoma City, Okla., and the other in Raleigh, N.C.