LightSquared asks FCC to give them more time to prove that they don’t interfere with GPS

LightSquared, a wireless operator who’s laying the groundwork for an LTE network that they’ll rent out to companies who then resell the service to people like you, is in a bit of a pickle. They need to convince government officials that the L-Band spectrum they plan to use to build out their network doesn’t cause any interference with GPS. Not being able to get to your friend’s new apartment may be a bummer, but airplanes trying to figure out where exactly they are at any given moment so they don’t end up landing in the wrong state is a whole different picture. LightSquared was supposed to submit the results of their testing yesterday, but they instead asked for a 2 week extension.

“Based on preliminary test results, LightSquared determined that additional testing, beyond what had been planned initially, including alternative frequency plans to support its network roll-out, was necessary to permit a proper evaluation. That testing has been performed, and it has set back the timetable, particularly in some sub-teams in which data is still being processed and analyzed.” — Jeffrey Carlisle, Executive Vice President, Regulatory Affairs & Public Policy, LightSquared

Earlier reports said that GPS signals were completely knocked out up to 22 miles away from a LightSquared cell tower. That doesn’t exactly bode well, and if a solution can’t be found then not only will a lot of people lose a lot of money on this, but a once promising alternative to the current titans of wireless will be kicked to the curb. Clearwire was supposed to be the WiMAX version of LightSquared, but for some odd reason they wanted to promote their services directly to consumers. Their coverage map isn’t exactly stellar either. Note that Clearwire is also burning money at a furious pace so their longterm future is coming into question.

[Via: Phone Scoop]

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