LightSquared sees hopes dashed

The US National Telecommunications and Information Administration has recommended in a letter that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) indefinitely suspends LightSquared’s authorisation to operate a land-based network.

It also called for cancelling a conditional waiver that would have let the carrier sell access to its satellite and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks separately.

The FCC’s response came after months of charges and countercharges between LightSquared and backers of GPS, including the US government’s defence and air traffic agencies.

“The FCC has acted appropriately by declaring that its non-interference condition has not been satisfied and that LightSquared will not be permitted to move forward with its proposal to build a nationwide high-powered terrestrial network in the mobile satellite band,” wrote the Coalition to Save Our GPS.

To reverse the FCC’s decision, LightSquared could appeal on the grounds that the agency reached its conclusion on the basis of a flawed testing process. It has already lodged formal complaints including calls for an investigation into conflicts of interest by members of the agency that oversaw the tests.

LightSquared also has blamed GPS vendors, saying they knowingly made receivers that scanned for GPS signals in the adjacent band, making themselves vulnerable to interference.


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