LightSquared suffers LTE setback

16 December 2011 |

LightSquared’s LTE plans have received a further set back following the release of an official report expressing concern that the company’s proposed 4G network could interfere with GPS devices and compromise aircraft flight safety.

The report, prepared by the National Coordination Office for Space-based Positioning, Navigation and Timing, reinforces earlier findings that harmful interference could be caused by the company’s planned deployment.

Despite the findings, LightSquared’s CEO Sanjiv Ahuja has said that the company will not give up on its plans and will work with the Federal Aviation Authority to address the issue of interference with aeroplane terrain avoidance systems.

Ahuja disagreed with the conclusions of the study and instead blamed GPS device manufacturers for interference issues, suggesting that the devices tipped over into spectrum licensed to LightSquared. He described the problem as being not of the company’s making and expressed a belief that LightSquared and GPS could co-exist.

LightSquared has already signed up partners for the service including Leap Wireless, who plans to offer 4G services using the LightSquared network. The network was originally planned for launch at the start of 2012 but the latest round of problems make this unlikely.