RESTON, Va., February 7, 2012 – Today, LightSquared asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to develop receiver reliability standards for unlicensed GPS devices to ensure they perform reliably and take into account licensed users in nearby bands. While the company’s request is specifically focused on commercial GPS receivers designed to receive signals in the 1559-1610 MHz band, company officials reinforced on a call with reporters that receiver reliability standards would create a level playing field across the entire U.S. spectrum.
Two rounds of testing by independent and government entities have confirmed that the interference experienced by the commercial GPS receivers is the result of an industry decision to design and sell poorly filtered devices that purposefully depend on spectrum licensed to LightSquared for accuracy. If sensible standards were in place, the GPS industry would not be facing the current interference problems and consumers would benefit from a more efficient use of spectrum. Furthermore, the way would be clear for LightSquared to launch its new nationwide wireless broadband network funded by a $14 billion private investment in the nation’s broadband infrastructure.
The FCC itself noted that GPS receivers bear responsibility to “reasonably discriminate against the reception of signals outside their allocated spectrum.”In the case of GPS receivers, the manufacturers not only fail to reasonably protect themselves from adjacent band interference, but they exacerbate the problem with a design that purposely relies on unlicensed spectrum in the adjacent band – spectrum that is licensed only to LightSquared. The FCC has also noted that the GPS manufacturers relied on this design even though“extensive terrestrial operations have been anticipated in the L-band for at least 8 years.”
Given the FCC’s previous statement on this issue, LightSquared believes it is time for the agency to take a close look at targeted rules aimed specifically at the 1559-1610 MHz band. LightSquared suggests that any new rules should ensure that spectrum is used more efficiently by allowing licensees the full use of their spectrum under FCC rules.
While the agency has in the past depended on market forces to regulate receiver performance, in this case such forces have failed. The result is that a relatively small number of users are standing in the way of a $14 billion private investment in a nationwide wireless broadband service that will provide enhanced competition for more than 260 million Americans.
Adoption of suitable standards would correct market failures and protect consumers from the continued proliferation of devices that are not designed to operate in their own spectrum allocations. In addition, standards would protect end-users in the United States who ultimately purchase and rely on these products.
In a separate petition to the FCC in December, LightSquared asked the agency to confirm the company’s right to use its licensed spectrum and confirm that commercial GPS manufacturers have no right to interference protection from LightSquared’s network since they are not licensed users.
LightSquared’s mission is to revolutionize the U.S. wireless industry. With the creation of the first-ever, wholesale-only nationwide 4G-LTE network integrated with satellite coverage, LightSquared offers people the speed, value and reliability of universal connectivity, wherever they are in the United States. As a wholesale-only operator, LightSquared will deploy an open 4G wireless broadband network to be used by existing and new service providers to sell their own devices, applications and services – at a competitive cost and without retail competition from LightSquared. The deployment and operation of LightSquared’s network represent more than $14 billion of private investment over the next eight years. For more information about LightSquared, please go to www.LightSquared.com, www.facebook.com/LightSquared andwww.twitter.com/LightSquared.
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Burson-Marsteller for LightSquared
Tel: (202) 530-4737
Forward Looking Statement:
This release contains forward-looking statements and information regarding LightSquared and its business. Such statements are based on the current expectations and certain assumptions of LightSquared’s management and are, therefore, subject to certain risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements expressed herein relate only to information as of the date of this release. LightSquared has no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release, nor is there any assurance that the plans or strategies discussed in this release will not change.