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US government: LightSquared GPS interference "unavoidable"

updated 09:25 pm EST, Tue February 14, 2012

FCC maintains prohibition on LightSquared tech

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which manages government and commercial spectrum management in the US, has determined that interference between LightSquared's LTE network and existing GPS equipment is "unavoidable." The ruling appears to solidify the government's opposition to the technology, which has been shown to jam GPS receivers.

The FCC is reportedly set to revoke its conditional permission that had provided time for the company to resolve interference issues. The commission is also said to be planning to formally reject the company's application to launch the network.

"NTIA ... has now concluded that there is no practical way to mitigate potential interference at this time," the FCC said in a statement, which was quoted by All Things D. "Consequently, the commission will not lift the prohibition on LightSquared."

LightSquared has pushed the FCC to impose new regulations on the GPS industry, arguing that GPS receivers lack sufficient filters for nearby spectrum that the startup has licensed to use for its LTE network. Critics counter that such demands are unrealistic and would wreak havoc on existing GPS equipment if the company was allowed to move forward.

"The commission clearly stated from the outset that harmful interference to GPS would not be permitted," the Commission added.

by MacNN Staff



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