LightSquared finds alternative to network after GPS interference reported

LightSquared (Reston, Va.), a wholesale-only integrated wireless broadband and satellite network, on Monday outlined an alternative to the problem of interference with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers.

Early test results with the GPS industry indicated that one of LightSquared’s 10MHz blocks of frequencies poses interference to many GPS receivers. This block was the specific set of frequencies that LightSquared planned to use for the initial launch of its network.

Based on those same early test results, it was determined that another 10MHz block of the spectrum did not create such an interference risk. According to LightSquared this block is lower on the spectrum band and located further away from the GPS frequencies.

An alternative deployment plan is in development, and will focus on the lower block of spectrum to launch the wireless broadband service. LightSquared entered negotiations with Inmarsat, the satellite company that controls the alternative block of spectrum in the L Band, and reached an agreement that will allow the rollout of its wireless network in a timeframe that keeps to the original business plan and is in accordance with regulatory requirements. LightSquared is scheduled to launch its network in the first half of 2012.

LightSquared will not use the spectrum it originally planned to use for the launch of its network.

According to LightSquared, they will work with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), as well as the relevant US government agencies and commercial GPS users, to explore mitigation possibilities and operational alternatives that will allow LightSquared to continue to expand its business.

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