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LightSquared May Sue Detractors Over GPS Fears

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Oct 4, 2011, 10:46 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

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