LightSquared reports on GPS testing process

The satellite-LTE carrier has formed a diverse group to determine interference by June 15

LightSquared has begun planning for GPS interference tests that will determine whether it can roll out a combination satellite-LTE mobile data network and issued the first of several required monthly reports on the process.

The fledgling carrier plans to build a high-speed LTE (Long-Term Evolution) cellular network across the U.S. and augment its reach with satellite coverage, offering access to the network to mobile operators that could resell either type of service to their customers. But GPS (Global Positioning System) companies fought the company's bid for approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, warning that running cellular services in the radio band that LightSquared plans to use could degrade GPS performance.

The FCC granted LightSquared a waiver to allow the network to go forward but required the carrier to organize an interference testing program and include participants from the GPS industry. LightSquared has to report back on the 15th day of every month until it submits the findings on June 15.

In its March report, issued Tuesday, the carrier gave information about the group it has formed and how they are going to plan their tests. The Technical Working Group in charge of testing has 34 members, including several from GPS vendor Garmin International and representatives from other companies in the GPS business. There are also members from Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel and from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and other government agencies.

The group will design tests to determine whether the LTE network could affect the accuracy, coverage and continuous availability of GPS, as well as other factors. Tests will take place both in labs and in the field, with precautions to prevent harm from the tests. For example, the group will notify mobile operators and public-safety agencies of upcoming field tests and will work with the FAA to warn pilots who might fly over the area where the tests are being held.

Some potential effects on GPS, such as the aggregate interference to GPS avionics required for in-flight navigation, can only be determined by analysis, not testing, the report noted.

Before its next monthly report, the group will write a test plan and work on determining what kinds of GPS equipment to test for interference. Testing will take place in April and May in preparation for the final report on June 15.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags telecommunicationconsumer electronicssatelliteregulationLightSquaredGPSU.S. Federal Communications Commissionmobilegovernment

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?