The company "LightSquared" is attempting to get regulatory approval for its nationwide 4G-LTE network. Unfortunately this appears to have some interference problems with the GPS network, specifically stopping it working for several miles around the transmitters.
In dramatic, eye-opening testimony before the House Armed Services Committee last week, General [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]William[/COLOR][/COLOR] Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, detailed the results of tests from earlier this year intended to precisely quantify the effect of LightSquared's forthcoming network on GPS.
"Aviation receivers operating as far as 7.5 miles from LightSquared transmitters completely lost GPS and were degraded out to distances of more than 16.5 miles," Shelton said. "High precision GPS receivers such as those used for surveying and geological study requiring precise measurements were adversely affected out to 213 miles and totally lost GPS out to 4.8 miles."
That's rather schizophrenic article from Fox News. They start it out strongly in favor of LightSquared, as they like to back big businesses, and criticize government regulation. On the other hand, there some whiff of political involvement by the Obama administration, so they simultaneously need to print the details that show the initial spin of their story to be nonsense.
But what caught my eye was Lightsquared's very poor effort in "debunking" the "myths".
Unfortunately it links to a private video, so you can't see what the "debunking" is. There's no technical papers on their web site. If science really was on their side, then they could just show the info.As noted in our Insights post on Friday, we have collaborated closely with the GPS industry and federal government agencies to eliminate interference issues. Any interference issues can be solved with smart engineering, not a political debate.
Today, as GPS commercial device manufacturers continue their anti-consumer efforts to pull the plug on development of our national wireless broadband network, we are launching a video to debunk several GPS interference myths and get us closer to offering nationwide connectivity across America.
The only document on there that you might think would explain things does not. In fact it basically says "yes, we know that our network will break GPS, but nobody told us until now". They attempt to place that blame on the GPS industry for not figuring out the problem sooner. Ignoring the fact that that's irrelevant. The bottom line is that LightSquared breaks GPS.
Their hidden video is probably more of the same. Their other videos are sickly PR, attempting popularist appeal, but coming across as phony. Based on the Fox News story, they should have very little chance of being approved. They position themselves as a champion of the consumer - but the consumer likes his working GPS better than a slightly improved cell-phone network. To truly be consumer friendly, LightSquared would have to offer fixes for ALL the devices out there, which for most of them will mean a full device replacement as GPS is integrated. Such a program would cost billions of dollars and take many years. So far they have allocated $50 million for military devices.