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Uh Oh Sprint: FCC Demands More LightSquared GPS Testing

A few months back Sprint and Lightsquared announced a $9 billion dollar network hosting deal where Sprint would use Lightsquared’s LTE network to deliver 4G/LTE to their customers, in the same manner in which they use Clearwire’s WiMax service for their current 4G.

One of the caveats in the deal was that LightSquared needed to win over the support of the FCC.  The spectrum that LightSquared currently holds interferes with GPS services.
More after the break:  

In a notice released to the public yesterday the FCC said:

“additional targeted testing is needed to ensure that any potential commercial terrestrial services offered by LightSquared will not cause harmful interference to GPS operations.”

The notice from the FCC is in reaction to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the United States Department of Defense requests to have more testing done and completed by November 30th.  Before the FCC’s latest notice a representative from LightSquared told the Mobile Future Forward conference that they expected GPS interference issues to be resolved by the end of the month.

Since it was discovered that LightSqaured’s network caused interference with some important GPS systems the company has taken a proactive stance and delivered several possible solutions. One such solution is for satellite augmented GPS units to use a dedicated chunk of 4mhz spectrum to provide services, however GPS providers feel there needs to be more studies.

LightSquared’s partnership with Sprint was announced in July, with an out, in case LightSquared can’t get their GPS issues resolved.  In the meantime Clearwire is looking for another bail out from Sprint so they can move forward with their advanced 4G/LTE service, called 4G/LTE advanced. This type of 4G/LTE has theoretic speeds of up to 100 mbps which Clearwire reported that they’ve seen in their test network.  Should LightSquared not resolve the interference issue in the near future we should already know what direction Sprint will go.

Source: Fierce

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