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Lightsquared says you should pay for your GPS

A company called Lightsquared has a plan to deploy up to 40,000 transmitters that will support 4G cell phone communic ations.  The only rub is, it is known to cause interference to GPS.  That means the GPS used by the military, by the commercial airliners you fly, by the GPS equipment on your tractor and the GPS on the ambulance or road clearing equipment.  GPS satellite signals are very weak.  Lightsquared is very strong.

Lightsquared got the FCC to change their frequency allocation to make them a primary user in the spectrum at question.   A primary user can say that others have the responsibility to build filters into their equipment.  In other words, as the new kid on the block, Lightsquared says that you are at fault because your tractor GPS, which never needed a filter before, now needs one.

Furthermore, Lightsquared says that GPS users have received the equivalent of subsidies from the government for the way GPS is deployed and funded.

Here is the new attack Lightsquared  has launched.

This is going to be all about politics before it is over.  Lightsquared has huge money behind it, some of the biggest start-up funds in the world.

John Deere has joined the military and aviation industries in opposing this frequency grab.  Stay tuned.  This is a big deal. 

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5 Replies

Re: Lightsquared says you should pay for your GPS

Here is a snippet from a Lightsquared news release from their home site.


"LightSquared’s mission is to revolutionize the U.S. wireless industry. With the creation of the first-ever, wholesale-only nationwide 4G-LTE network integrated with satellite coverage, LightSquared offers people the speed, value and reliability of universal broadband connectivity, wherever they are in the United States. As a wholesale-only operator, LightSquared will deploy an open 4G network to be used by existing and new service providers to sell their own devices, applications and services – at a competitive cost and without retail competition from LightSquared. The deployment and operation of LightSquared’s network represent more than $14 billion of private investment over the next eight years." 


They have signed with a retailer.  It is obvious they want to get some traction and overcome the increasing opposition to their frequency conflict with GPS, including ag GPS uses. 

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Re: Lightsquared says you should pay for your GPS

...somehow I'm betting there's enough money behind them that they'll get their wish. Sort of reminds me of Monsanto's grab of the entire soybean seed industry.


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Frequent Reader

Here's what you can do about LightSquared proposed transmitters.

File a comment at the FCC website for Docket 11-109. There are several hundred comments now, and some are from farmers who don't like the idea that their Precision Ag GPS receivers will be severely affected by the proposed LightSquared base stations.


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Frequent Contributor

Re: Lightsquared says you should pay for your GPS

Thanks for the website link that helped me out too. These forums are great networking sites...really help me out sometimes. 

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Lightsquared says you should pay for your GPS

Lightsquared has been in the news the past couple of weeks.  Similar pattern to the Solyndra solar panel debacle.  A four-star Air Force general has testified that he was pressured  by the White House to change his testimony to a Congressional panel concerning Lightsquared's potential interference with the GPS network.  The President made a personal investment in Lightsquared's original company before it changed to Lightsquared, while he was an Illinois state senator in 2005, coincidentally, right at the time the company received a favorable decision from the federal government.  Interesting...

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