08.03.2011 02:35 PM
LightSquared Continues Generating Commission Controversy
Satellite1RESTON, VA.: LightSquared is proceeding as planned even as its proposed network continues generating dispute. The company said today it has transitioned 50,000 public safety and enterprise customers to its new SkyTerra 1 satellite. LightSquared said the transition is a “major step” toward the launch of it’s wholesale 4G-LTE wireless broadband-and-satellite network.

The privately funded company is in a race to deploy its network--unique in its combination of terrestrial and satellite technologies. It is meeting resistance because network modeling demonstrated interference with global positioning systems. The Federal Communications Commission docket on the proposed network has more than 2,700 comments on file, many from individual GPS users objecting to its deployment even with modifications.

“Please do not allow LightSqured to mess up the guidance systems I have installed on my tractor,” wrote
Tom Kalkowski. “I have spent over $50,000 for this system.”

Randy Gibson said he works for a local law enforcement crime lab.

“When we are called to a crime scene, we use GPS receiver to get to the scene by the most expeditious route,” he
wrote. “Evidence is fragile, and sometimes, minutes count. A degraded GPS signal will increase our response time and make us less effective in keeping our citizens safe. Please do not allow this to happen.”

There are similar objections from land surveyors, pilots, oilfield workers, scientists and others. Others, however, support it. Paul Anderson with the Douglas County, Minn. Commission said lack of wireless broadband in rural areas is a barrier to economic development.

“We need jobs and economic growth. Our
ability to grow jobs depends upon reliable communications and I urge the commission to approved LightSquared’s pending application without delay,” he wrote.

Ross Gallagher, a former commissioner with Washington’s Mason County, urged the commission to allow LightSquared to go forward.

The GPS community has had eight years to prepare for this day. The American people should not need to wait further--and certainly not indefinitely--to accommodate the GPS industry’s procrastination,” he
wrote, referring to the inability of GPS receivers to reject interference.

LightSquared agreed to mitigate interference by launching at reduced power at lower frequencies. It more recently secured a shared-services deal with Sprint that will allow it to launch on that carrier’s terrestrial network, saving it billions of dollars in upfront infrastructure investment. That agreement is subject to FCC approval.

Deborah D. McAdams

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Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Wed, 08-03-2011 09:00 PM Report Comment
GPS is a weak signal from way up in space. LightSquared or any other jamming source would be a strong signal from on the ground. Shouldn't it be fairly easy for the Air Force to rig a JDAM to find that strong source? ;-)
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Thu, 08-04-2011 11:34 AM Report Comment
I feel that once the government chooses one business as more important for the USA citizens, over another and in this case, 175 year old companies like John Deere that need precise GPS for their advanced farming equipment that allowed us to feed our country and many others due to this advanced technology, well, need I say more. Phil Falcone has everything riding on its approval, he went to Harvard along with Obama and the head of the FCC that will approve his plan. Falcone has donated the maximum to the Obama machine, this reminds me of somethign right out of Atlas Shrugged novel by Mrs Rand. If Obama approves it and there really is plance failures, his re-election chances are gone for good.
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Thu, 08-04-2011 02:05 PM Report Comment
Lightsquared proponents echo a fiction when they say GPS had 8 years to get ready. The spectrum Lightsquared proposes using is in a block originally blocked off for satellite signals, which from geostationary or middle altitude orbits are weak and require sensitive and wider bandwidth receivers. Lightsquared and its previous incarnations had an application in for a very limited number of low power satellite signal repeaters. Late last year, over the holidays, Lightsquared asked for a modification to the application and changed it to a request for over 40,000 towers with 1500 kw ERP. The same effect for the cell industry would be to allow thousands of new 50KW tv station towers on the 900MHZ band next to the cellular spectrum.
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Wed, 08-03-2011 04:17 PM Report Comment
The spectrum that Lightsquared wants was allocated for satellite communication at low power. The adjacent frequencies are satellite using low power. The band should not be co-opted for Hugh power land based uses. I use GPS every day, I work for a company that manufactures Position-Navigation-Timing (PNT), I use it in my cell phone for direction, location, and my clock. I used it as an amateur radio operator, I use it for boating and I know the airlines that I fly use it to get me where I am going. I use is for my other hobbies as well such as robotic guidance. If the FCC allows Lightsquared to proceed, it will severly impact my life since I have used GPS for nearly 30 years. I intend to write my congressman as soon as I navigate my way home. I hope you do as well.
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Fri, 08-05-2011 05:27 PM Report Comment
I am truly surprise to see a backbone service such LightSquared, being pitch as a way to get 4G wireless service to rural America. LightSquared will not be selling directly to consumers, but to wireless providers, so the wireless carrier is still only as good the cell sites it has available. Okay I am not a tech, but you have at least a lag time 270ms to get to and back from the satellite, add the latency from your device to the cell tower and the latency of LightSquared if it using a satellite for the network, you are looking at latency of at least 400 to 500ms and with a lot of network traffic, probably a much longer lag time. Not necessarily a good broadband pipe. However if LightSquared is not using a satellite in the pipeline, you have a broadband pipe, however it seems you can accomplish the same awesome pipe by using microwaves on frequencies that will not adversely affect GPS. I really question the how good of a pipe LightSquared could possibly be with any satellite links in the pipe. And even if LightSquared provides a good pipe (and I doubt it will) the pipe would of little value to any rural area unless wireless provider put up towers and to be honest that won't happen any time soon, the interest is in large metro markets not rural areas.

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