LightSquared continues to have issues with GPS interference, even after they proposed a change in their operating frequencies. GPS advocates are up in arms with LightSquared’s proposition to build its nation wide network. LightSquared is rolling out a 4G-LTE high speed network in order to provide affordable wireless Internet nationwide. Problems began in January after the FCC allotted the upper portion of the L-Band frequency for use by LightSquared. The L-Band frequency borders on the frequency used by the GPS network and has been causing interference with various GPS devices.
LightSquared blames the GPS industry, as GPS devices were not originally designed to filter out frequencies beyond their operating spectrum. Lightsquared’s solution was to move to the lower portion of the L-Band frequency, which does not border the GPS spectrum, only recent tests show that GPS interference exists even at the lower portion of the L-Band spectrum.
Lightsquared maintains that filters, installed on precision GPS devices, would solve any interference issues. Not everyone is satisfied with this solution, the Air Transport Association (ATA) argues that it would cost prohibitive to install filters, which do not yet exist, on the U.S airline industries 6,500 aircraft. GPS advocates want LightSquared to move to a different band, in order to eliminate any chance of interference.
There is no telling what impact GPS interference could have. In addition to the GPS navigators in our vehicles, GPS devices are used in a variety of industries. Everything from combine harvesters on the ground to airplanes in the sky rely on GPS technology to navigate. Representatives of industries that rely on GPS technology have formed the Coalition to Save Our GPS in order to safeguard the GPS network that millions of Americans rely on everyday.