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LightSquared signal still disrupts, says gummint

John Moe Dec 15, 2011

The communications office at LightSquared is reaching for the Advil this morning. It’s to fight all the new headaches they have after a new government report saying that the signal for the proposed new wireless network still disrupts other signals. This means its not getting approved for commercial use any time soon. This means they can’t get customers. This means the only money coming in is from increasingly impatient investors.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Government tests showed that “LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to the majority of…general purpose GPS receivers,” said Anthony Russo, director of the National Coordination Office for Spaced-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing, a government and industry advisory board, in a statement late Wednesday.

The same statement was also issued by the Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense.

Separate testing by the Federal Aviation Administration found LightSquared’s network would interfere with a flight-safety system designed to keep airplanes from crashing into mountains or other terrain, Mr. Russo said.

The idea of LightSquared was originally to have a satellite-only wireless network so you never had to worry about a signal because it was beamed from space. On that notion, the company was granted some spectrum from the FCC. When it was clear that LightSquared couldn’t make that work, the plan became a terrestrial tower / satellite hybrid. But that’s not working well either. Next up, LightSquared will become one of those cupcake places or perhaps a ska band.



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