updated 09:30 pm EST, Tue February 7, 2012
Startup places blame on GPS industry
LightSquared has asked the Federal Communications Commission to consider new regulations for GPS devices to avoid interference with the startup's 4G network. The company has continued to argue that the GPS industry is to blame for the lingering interference issues, as GPS receivers lack sufficient signal filters to avoid being jammed by terrestrial LTE transmitters that use L-band spectrum that LightSquared has licensed.
"If sensible standards were in place, the GPS industry would not be facing the current interference problems and consumers would benefit from a more efficient use of spectrum," the company said in a statement. "Furthermore, the way would be clear for LightSquared to launch its new nationwide wireless broadband network funded by a $14 billion private investment in the nation’s broadband infrastructure."
Critics point out that even if the FCC enforces new regulations for the GPS industry, launching LightSquared's LTE network within the next several years would still wreak havoc on existing equipment that lacks sufficient filters. The company has asked the FCC to formally establish that GPS manufacturers "have no right to interference protection" from LightSquared's network.
Recent reports suggest that LightSquared may be set to lose one of its primary investors, Sprint, if FCC approval is not achieved by mid-March, though the deadline has been extended several times. Termination of the proposed partnership is expected to force LightSquared to seek $13 billion in alternative funding to build its own cell towers. [via GigaOM]