The independent blog on spectrum policy issues
that welcomes your input on the key policy issues of the day.

Our focus is the relationship between spectrum policy
and technical innnovation.

A net neutrality free zone: We pledge no mention of any net neutrality issues before 2018.

When they deserve it, we don't hesitate to criticize either NAB, CTIA or FCC.

LightSquared/GPS Update


Just in time for the holiday season is an exchange between the two implacable forces in this major spectrum battle.

From LightSquared we have a December 20 Petition for Declaratory Ruling. It contains a detailed history of Commission actions on how we got to where we are. Earlier filings have given much of this, but this one is more comprehensive and many of the milestone seem to be unknown to concerned people in the policy community that I have spoken with. For example

The concept of using MSS spectrum for combined satellite and terrestrial purposes, and LightSquared’s authority to conduct such operations, have evolved with the active participation and support of the commercial GPS industry for almost a decade. Indeed, LightSquared has worked with the commercial GPS industry to ensure that GPS receivers would remain compatible with LightSquared’s forthcoming terrestrial broadband network in the L Band. During this time, the GPS industry repeatedly supported the evolving technical parameters of LightSquared’s network—and, in particular, supported LightSquared in proceedings in which the Commission relaxed the numerical limits applicable to LightSquared’s terrestrial transmitters and significantly increased the power level at which LightSquared’s terrestrial base stations may transmit within its authorized MSS spectrum. (p.5).

Fierce Mobile Content provided a set of quotes from the GPS industry on this filing. For example, Jim Kirkland, Vice President and General Counsel of Trimble is quoted saying,

"This latest filing simply recycles the litany of inaccurate and self-serving claims that LightSquared has made in its ongoing effort to deny its obligation to avoid harmful interference to millions of government and private GPS users.”

Oddly, Margaret Podlich, President of BoatUS, a pleasure boat group your blogger is a member of, said,

"Boat owners take the responsibility for the safety of our family members and friends very seriously. To compromise one of their most important, reliable, and critical pieces of safety equipment, which is the essence of the Light Squared signal interference issue with GPS, is not only foolish, but irresponsible. No margin of safety should be reduced simply because a private corporation sees a new business opportunity."

While there are some complicated issues of aviation safety and impact of MSS band base stations on terrestrial GPS receivers within 100m of a base station, as the owner and user of boating GPS receivers I would have thought that this class of stations had the least issues.

This makes me wonder if the hypothesis of a GPS industry insider I spoke to a while ago is correct. He wondered if the GPS industry players has all made a “suicide pact” and were prepared to “drink the Kool-Aid” if any subset of the industry was impacted in any way.
blog comments powered by Disqus