LightSquared on Life Support, but Not Dead Yet
Since the withdrawal of approval in February for LightSquared’s planned use of frequencies adjacent to those of GPS to set up a nationwide 4G mobile broadband network, things have recently taken an unexpected turn. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) withdrew LightSquared’s approval earlier this year after transmission tests revealed interference issues with GPS receivers.
LightSquared lobbyists, including a former FCC chairman, now appear to have convinced some legislators and federal bureaucrats to study the FCC Technological Advisory Council’s upcoming report on GPS receiver standards. The company’s lobbyists contend that the report could even show that LightSquared might not have been entirely to blame for all, or even most, of the problems encountered in the earlier tests. “It may have been a bum rap,” one industry observer told AIN.
Perhaps not coincidentally, a major report of a Presidential advisory committee has recommended a wholesale review of spectrum allocations, including transferring significant blocks of currently unused government frequencies to private industry. This is a concept strongly advocated by LightSquared, which is seeking to secure an alternate spectrum not in the GPS frequency neighborhood for its planned broadband network.