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FCC: We won't let LightSquared interfere with GPS

Wed, 08/10/2011 - 8:10am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

The FCC is maintaining a hard line on a dispute between LightSquared and the GPS industry over interference problems caused by the startup company's planned LTE network, which would operate in spectrum bands near to those used by GPS.

The agency has said it will not allow LightSquared to deploy its network until it resolves problems with GPS interference.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski reiterated the agency's stance yesterday, when he told reporters at a press conference after the agency's open meeting that "the facts and the engineering" would determine the agency's decision on whether to let LightSquared move ahead.

"We're not going to do anything that creates problems for GPS safety and services as we explore technical solutions that will both protect GPS and allow a new service to launch," he said.

LightSquared has revised its plans to address the GPS interference issue, but some in the GPS industry say the plans won't work and want LightSquared to find new spectrum for its service.

LightSquared's plans are currently being evaluated by the FCC. Comments on the plans are due Aug. 15.

Meanwhile, LightSquared has continued to rack up customers for its proposed wholesale LTE network. The company signed a 15-year spectrum hosting deal with Sprint late last month, but the agreement will fall through if the FCC decides to block LightSquared from deploying its network.

Just last week, LightSquared inked a deal with another company that wants to resell its LTE service, PowerNet Global.

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