Lower-powered LightSquared Signals Skew Test Results

 - May 31, 2011, 8:15 AM

LightSquared documents submitted to the FCC last week reveal that its transmitters were transmitting at only half power during the tests recently conducted in the Las Vegas area to check for interference with GPS receivers. This means that any interference detected by the GPS units could be as much as half that expected when the LightSquared transmitters operate at their eventual planned power levels. Subsequent investigation appears to indicate that LightSquared might have not yet developed a full-power version of the transmitters it intends to deploy across the U.S. for coast-to-coast 4G broadband service. Further, it is not clear when LightSquared will be able to offer a full-power transmitter for realistic testing of potential interference. Official comment from the GPS Industry Council is expected later this week, but independent observers suggest that the council will demand that the FCC review its special waiver given to LightSquared to complete its testing by June 15, a date that civil and military GPS representatives have stated was an unrealistically short period for a comprehensive test of LightSquared’s interference characteristics.