New tests show LightSquared might screw up GPS

John Moe Jun 10, 2011

LightSquared is a new network trying to get up and running. But, lots of folks – pilots, people in the military – have been complaining that the network will mess up GPS, which not only helps you figure out how to get to the restaurant you’re going to tonight, but also is a national security issue. For its part, LightSquared says the GPS thing isn’t a big problem. Turns out:
“A new set of government tests showed that LightSquared’s proposed mobile broadband network disrupted the signal strength to all GPS devices in the test area, dealing another setback to the company’s startup plans.”

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The government tests suggest that LightSquared’s GPS issues are more wide-spread than previously known. Last week, construction giant Deere & Co. reported that during recent testing in New Mexico, LightSquared’s network hobbled it’s GPS systems more than 20 miles away. Local law enforcement also reported police cars and ambulances lost GPS signals.
The tests also suggest that professional precision GPS devices used by companies and government users would be more affected by the LightSquared interference than cheaper devices used by consumers.

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