LightSquared Vacates Frequency Nearest to GPS

 - June 21, 2011, 5:35 AM

Since early reports indicate that LightSquared’s transmitters do, in fact, interfere with GPS signals, LightSquared yesterday announced that it would vacate the frequency that caused major GPS interference and move to one farther away, where tests had shown minimum interference. However, some GPS receivers would still be affected by the company’s 4G signals even in this frequency band. On the same day, LightSquared showed it wasn’t going away, announcing a 15-year deal with Sprint valued at $20 billion to develop, deploy and operate LightSquared’s future nationwide 4G network. On Thursday, the LightSquared/GPS issue will be the subject of a congressional hearing involving members of both the House and the Senate. At that point, the debate would move from the technical to the political, where LightSquared has undeniable muscle. For example, the President’s State of the Union message in January specifically identified the need for nationwide broadband connectivity. And the jobs subsequently created to develop and build the vast, $20 billion terrestrial network would also certainly please legislators.