LightSquared has detailed its solution to the issue of interference
with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, which will permit the
operator to proceed with the rollout of its nationwide wholesale LTE
network. LightSquared will not use one of the 10 MHz blocks of spectrum
it had originally planned to use for launch of its LTE network, since
it poses interference problems for many GPS receivers. As part of its
revised plan, LightSquared will modify its FCC licence to reduce the
maximum authorized power of its base-station transmitters by over 50%,
which will provide additional protection to GPS.
LightSquared™, the nation’s first wholesale-only integrated wireless
broadband and satellite network, today outlined a comprehensive
solution to the problem of interference with Global Positioning System
(GPS) receivers. This solution will permit LightSquared to proceed with
its business plan, protect the public’s stake in GPS and lay the
foundation for the future co-existence of a variety of wireless
broadband services and GPS. LightSquared planned to use for the initial
launch of its nationwide wireless broadband network.
“This is a solution which ensures that tens of millions of GPS users
won’t be affected by LightSquared’s launch. At the same time, this plan
offers a clear path for LightSquared to move forward with the launch
of a nationwide wireless network that will introduce world class
broadband service to rural and underserved areas which still find
themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide,’’ said Sanjiv
Ahuja, LightSquared Chairman and CEO.
Results of Testing
Early test results indicated that one of LightSquared’s 10MHz blocks
of frequencies poses interference to many GPS receivers. This block
happens to be the specific set of frequencies that LightSquared planned
to use for the initial launch of its nationwide wireless broadband
Based on those same early test results, LightSquared determined that
another 10MHz block of the spectrum did not create such an interference
risk. This block is lower on the spectrum band and located further
away from the GPS frequencies, greatly reducing the risk for
Test results show this lower block of frequencies is largely free of
interference issues with the exception of a limited number of high
precision GPS receivers that are specifically designed to rely on
LightSquared’s spectrum. In its original plan, LightSquared planned to
move into this other frequency block as its business grew over the next
two to three years.
After assessing this information, LightSquared immediately began
developing an alternative deployment plan focused on the lower block of
spectrum to launch its nationwide wireless broadband service. It also
entered negotiations with Inmarsat, the satellite company that controls
the alternative block of spectrum in the L Band, to accelerate the
schedule for LightSquared to begin using the frequencies.
LightSquared recently reached an agreement with Inmarsat 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. As part of this revised plan, LightSquared will modify
its FCC license to reduce the maximum authorized power of its
base-station transmitters by over 50%. This action will limit
LightSquared to the power it was authorized to use in 2005, which will
provide additional protection to GPS.
This new plan will give LightSquared enough spectrum to serve its
growing customer base for the next several years. During this time,
LightSquared will not use the spectrum it originally planned to use for
the launch of its network.
LightSquared will use this time to work closely with the FCC and the
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 and serve American consumers’ increasing need for wireless
broadband services which are so critical to the development of a 21st
century economy. At the same time, LightSquared is committed to
protecting GPS services, which have become indispensible to millions of
LightSquared believes that its next-generation, 4G LTE wholesale
network can live harmoniously, side-by-side, with GPS users.
Enlightened and responsible spectrum management will give the American
public the best of both worlds – a world class wireless broadband
network and a GPS service that continues to enrich and protect our
lives. With this plan, LightSquared has taken a giant step toward that
LightSquared’s mission is to revolutionize the U.S. wireless
industry. With the creation of the first-ever, wholesale-only
nationwide 4G-LTE network integrated with satellite coverage,
LightSquared offers people the speed, value, and reliability of
universal broadband connectivity, wherever they are in the United
States. As a wholesale-only operator, LightSquared will deploy an open
4G network to be used by existing and new service providers to sell
their own devices, applications, and services — at a competitive cost
and without retail competition from LightSquared. The deployment and
operation of LightSquared’s network represent more than $14 billion of
private investment over the next eight years.
For more information about LightSquared, please go to www.LightSquared.com.