Today in an interview on C-Span’s Communicators series, Lightsquared CEO Sanjav Ahuja stated that out of the 400 million GPS receivers on the market only about 500,000 will still be affected. Between changes they have made in terms of spectrum use and a newly identified GPS receiver – the only devices that will be affected now are used in construction, agriculture, and for surveying. Cell phones and consumer navigation devices no longer will be affected.
Many people had felt that the solution would take upwards of ten years and cost in the high billion dollar range. Mr Ahuja estimated that the US government has between 30,000 and 50,000 of the affected receivers and Lightsquared has proposed $50 million dollars towards retrofitting or replacing them.
During the interview he was asked if Lightsquared was being singled out by the big carriers he said that as wholesalers they are not interested in controlling what the consumer is doing. Instead of controlling which apps people use or if VOIP will be allowed. About Lightsquared
“Ours is an absolutely open network. We encourage people to run voice Over IP. We encourage you to run video. your prices as a consumer…should drop $30, $40, $50, $70 a month. That is straight money in your pocket. So, anytime you try to do a disruption in an industry, established players are uncomfortable. But that is expected,” said Ahuja.
Currently Lightsquared has inked deals with 17 companies (including Sprint as well as Best Buy) all of whom would theoretically be national MVNOs’. Mr Ahuja stated he could envision as many as 100 companies might sign on and by doing so the incumbents, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, would find themselves in a position of REAL COMPETITION (emphasis mine).
If this happens to be the case – could we see AT&T gain some unexpected support from the DOJ? Could Sprint find themselves a very distant third (yet with Lightsquared in their corner)? The FCC granted a conditional waiver to run a traditional LTE (terrestrial network) but has yet to decide whether the conditions have been met regarding GPS interference.
Source: C-Span via multichannel