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LightSquared files with FCC, pushes some interference blame onto GPS device makers

LightSquared filed a modified spectrum plan with the Federal Communications Commission that the company said would solve interference issues with approximately 99.5% of all commercial GPS devices, including 100% of GPS-equipped mobile phones.
The report, which was filed after the granting of an extension from the original June 15 deadline, includes many of the solutions brought up in a release issued by LightSquared last week. Those solutions include launching the carrier’s LTE-based mobile broadband services in a different chunk of spectrum further removed from spectrum used by GPS devices.
In announcing the filing, LightSquared made mention that its solution was required because current GPS device makers have over the past several years designed their products to use spectrum assigned to other FCC licensees.
“Now LightSquared is stepping forward to help resolve the problem,” the company tersely noted. “In contrast, the GPS device manufacturers, unlike relevant government agencies, have been largely uninterested in finding a win-win solution. Rather, their only answer to a problem of their own making is to demand that the government simply block LightSquared from using the company’s own spectrum to roll out the first wholesale-only wireless broadband network for the entire nation – an economic benefit worth as much as $120 billion to consumers. This is a problem that the GPS industry could have avoided by equipping their devices over the last several years with filters that cost as little as five cents each.”
LightSquared did note that its solution did not resolve all of the interference problems with “precision GPS devices,” and that approximately 200,000 GPS-equipped devices could still be impacted.
LightSquared said it remains committed to covering 260 million potential customers by the end of 2015.
Despite the network uncertainty, LightSquared continues to attract wholesale customers to its network. Earlier this week the company signed a “long-term” deal with Inc., which followed previous deals with Leap Wireless International Inc., Cellular South Inc. and Open Range Inc.

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