GPS Office Gives LightSquared Test an F

 - December 15, 2011, 3:38 PM

Recent tests “did show that LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to the majority of other tested general-purpose GPS receivers,” according to a statement issued yesterday by Anthony Russo, director of the National Coordination Office, on behalf of the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing. While the tests were found to generate “no significant interference” with cellphones, Russo added, “Separate analysis by the [FAA] also found interference with a flight safety system designed to warn pilots of approaching terrain.” A statement from LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja noted, “While we are eager to continue to work with the FAA on addressing the one remaining issue regarding terrain avoidance systems, we profoundly disagree with the conclusions drawn with respect to general navigation devices.” Ahuja added, “The testing further confirmed that the interference issues are not caused by LightSquared’s spectrum, but by GPS devices looking into the spectrum that is licensed to LightSquared.” Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives passed language in the National Defense Authorization Act that will prevent the FCC from approving LightSquared’s broadband Internet access network “until Defense Department concerns about GPS interference have been resolved.”