On January 26, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an Order and Authorization giving LightSquared conditional approval to build out its ground-based wireless network (referred to as an ancillary terrestrial component, ATC) by reusing its authorized mobile satellite service (MSS) spectrum. So, what’s the issue?? Although LightSquared will operate in its own radio band, that band is so close to the GPS signals that many GPS devices could pick up the stronger LightSquared signal and become overloaded or jammed. Some are also concerned that theFCC may approve a technical solution to the problem that requires millions of existing GPS users to upgrade or replace their devices.
In the most recent American Surveyor newsletter, Marc Cheves addressed the topic. From Marc… After I sent my last newsletter, John Deere—who uses GPS for precision agriculture—reported that the test blew out its on-tractor systems 22 miles from the transmitter. You can read about it HERE. June 15th is an important day because that’s when the FCC-ordered final report is due. You can read about that HERE. Because LightSquared will wholesale the bandwidth, to give you an idea of the money involved, news reports have indicated that LightSquared and Sprint are looking at a $2 billion deal. We can only hope that the uprising by us stakeholders will squelch any encroachment into our spectrum.
For more on the topic, see this article – GPS Is In Jeopardy!
According to Gavin Schrock, LS, there’s a fine line between hype or sheer panic, and measured concern (pardon the pun) for those who are increasingly dependent on GPS for their livelihood, public safety, trade or commerce. Read on for a fine analysis in this article Broadband vs. GPS