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LightSquared's Terrestrial Network Prompts NTIA Concern

Last week NTIA chief Lawrence Strickling sent a letter to the FCC expressing concern over interference from waivers for LightSquared's satellite-terrestrial LTE network.

"Grant of the LightSquared waiver would create a new interference environment and it is incumbent on the FCC to deal with the resulting interference issues before any interference occurs," said Strickling. "Several federal agencies with vital concerns about this spectrum band, including the Departments of Defense, Transportation and Homeland Security, have informed NTIA that they believe the FCC should defer action on the LightSquared waiver until these interference concerns are satisfactorily addressed."

LightSquared holds spectrum at 1990-2025 MHz and 2165-2200 MHz in the 2-GHz MSS band; 1525-1544 MHz and 1545-1559 MHz in the L-band, S-band frequencies at 1626.5-1645.5 MHz and 1646.5-1660.5 MHz, and "Big LEO" spectrum at 1610-1626.5 MHz and 2483.5-2500 MHz. Most of the Federal agencies that Strickling referred to use frequencies in the 1.5 GHz and 1.6 GHz bands, although the DoD also shares spectrum in the 2 GHz band with broadcasters.

LightSquared expects to be able to provide wireless broadband service to at least 92 percent of the U.S. population through its terrestrial network, and will serve the entire nation through its satellite. LightSquared will wholesale capacity on its network to other companies for resale to business and consumers.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.