LightSquared will run an open letter from its CEO, Sanjiv Ahuja, in major U.S. newspapers on Sept. 26, explaining its position over the controversy surrounding its LTE (long-term evolution) network, specifically concerns about its interference with GPS (global positioning system).
The LightSquared issue surfaced due to concerns that part of its proposed use of broadband in the terrestrial frequency might interfere with GPS devices, which include GPS used by the U.S. military. The company is currently in talks with the Federal Communications Commission about how to limit interference from its radio frequencies on GPS services. Until a solution is reached, it cannot start services.
Tests show that the proposed LTE network by LightSquared, operating in a spectrum band now devoted to satellite services, will run into interference with most GPS products in the upper part of its band and with some high-precision units in the lower part of its band.
The need for more broadband capacity in the United States and claims for support from U.S. lawmakers and the GPS industry have been highlighted by Ahuja's letter.
LightSquared has put the blame of the GPS interference upon others who are inappropriately using LightSquared's licensed spectrum. The letter said that it was working hard on a solution, including a $150 million private investment in testing and finding a solution.
Some 99.5 per cent of all commercial GPS interference has been accounted for and solved, while the remaining .5 per cent of the GPS interference occurs on precision devices that also inappropriately violate its licensed spectrum, Ahuja said.
Ahuja said that LightSquared's commitment to permeate $14 billion of private investment, devoid of any funding from the government, will generate 75,000 jobs over the next five years.
The FCC, which had granted LightSquared a conditional waiver in January, this year, to set up a land-based network to operate smartphones over its 4G network, has now declared that it will not allow the company to operate its high-speed network until it resolves the GPS interference issue.