LightSquared says it can eliminate all GPS interference

LightSquared, a company struggling in a political battle to build a nationwide wireless broadband network using GPS frequencies, said it has signed an agreement with Javad GNSS to develop a system that will eliminate all interference issues for high-precision GPS devices.

The company said the Javad GNSS system could be adapted to work with high-precision GPS devices, including those already used in the agriculture, surveying, construction and defense industries. Javad GNSS has completed the design, made prototypes and tested those prototypes. Preproduction units will be released for public tests in October.

High-precision receivers for positioning applications are expected to go to market by November 2011 and precision timing devices by March 2012.

“I have said from the beginning that this interference issue will be resolved as soon as smart engineers like Javad Ashjaee put their minds to it,” said Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman and chief executive officer of LightSquared. “With this new system, Mr. Ashjaee makes another mark for himself as a cutting edge pioneer in the precision GPS industry, a field he has helped shape for more than 30 years.”

To develop the technology, Javad GNSS took the existing receivers and reconfigured the filters and linear amplifiers to make them completely compatible with LightSquared’s bottom 10MHz of spectrum. It was a very simple and inexpensive process and was developed in a matter of days. The additional cost for this technology is not expected to increase the selling price of the device to the customer.

“This interference problem is not a difficult one to solve, once you decide to solve it,” said Javad Ashjaee, founder of Javad GNSS. “We’ve begun manufacturing preproduction models and expect to have 25 available within two weeks; we are not talking in hypotheticals here.”

Ashjaee continued, “The truth is that high precision GPS users have a wide range of interference issues to contend with — from congested frequencies to intentional jamming. LightSquared made this problem much easier to solve by moving to spectrum farther away from the core GPS frequencies. As LightSquared’s spectrum neighbor, it’s our obligation to build a wall between our spectrum and LightSquared’s. My filter accomplishes that goal. Good fences make good neighbors.”

“The tests conducted so far by the GPS industry did not take into account the GPS modernization plan that is in place,” Ashjaee said. “Since we have demonstrated that LightSquared can certainly coexist with the current GPS satellite signals, the coexistence will be even stronger when the new GPS satellites with modern L1C, L2C and L5 unencrypted codes are launched.”

The GPS industry, which is adamantly opposed to the launch of LightSquared, criticized the deal.

“LightSquared has, as usual, oversimplified and greatly overstated the significance of the claims of a single vendor to have ‘solved’ the interference issue,” said the Coalition to Save Our GPS. “There have been many vendor claims that have not proven out in rigorous tests and the demanding tests of marketplace acceptance. Moreover, this is not a one-size-fits-all situation, and a few prototypes do not a solution make.”

The FCC has ordered more tests of the LightSquared system.