updated 06:20 pm EDT, Wed September 14, 2011
LightSquared has tech to solve GPS-4G interference
LightSquared during a call on Wednesday that it had developed a fix for its GPS interference complaints. Working with an unnamed top GPS company, it hoped to rebuff GPS industry criticism with an example of GPS technology that could get an accurate position lock without running up against LightSquared's LTE wireless. The change runs on existing hardware and is "affordable," executive regulatory VP Jeff Carlisle said.
It could go into devices within several months, Lightsquared's executive said. Candidates for the partner might include a device maker like Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom.
The company has already taken steps to try and minimize everyday interference by using different airwaves that would be less likely to conflict. It hasn't, however, fully solved problems with the most advanced forms of GPS, which to be accurate enough for military and pro work is often much more sensitive.
Previously, LightSquared has lashed out at the regular GPS industry, accusing it of breaking guidelines for removing interference and otherwise running GPS properly. The startup 4G network has had little room to move on frequencies for its LTE given the spectrum it won. Much of the rest was picked up by AT&T and Verizon at FCC auctions. The FCC is still evaluating whether or not LightSquared's proposed service can go ahead without creating significant problems.
Much is riding on the LightSquared deal: the new network already has a multi-billion dollar deal with Sprint and is considered by many to be the ticket to Sprint moving from WiMAX to much faster LTE for its 4G mobile Internet access.