Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: The Whaler GAM or General Area
  FCC Policy On Spectrum Near GPS Frequency

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   FCC Policy On Spectrum Near GPS Frequency
number9 posted 02-08-2011 07:34 AM ET (US)   Profile for number9   Send Email to number9  
Read about [the potential for interference to GPS reception by a proposed allocated re-purposing of satellite spectrum] on a Aviation related website this morning and thought it might be of interest. In some locations there may be potential for problems with GPS receiver operation leading to a complete loss of operation. Links provide testing information that didn't include a marine system. lightsquared-jamming-report-11030

http:/ / www. gpsworld. com/ gnss-system/ news/ data-shows-disastrous-gp s-jamming-fcc-approved-broadcaster-11029?utm_source=GPS& utm_medium=emai l& utm_campaign=Navigate_01_31_2011& utm_content=data-shows-disastrous-g ps-jamming-fcc-approved-broadcaster-11029

hauptjm posted 02-08-2011 06:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Gotta' have bandwidth for those 4G iPhones!
towboater posted 02-08-2011 11:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for towboater  Send Email to towboater     
GPS is a wonderful tool for sport and commercial boating but it is NOT a replacement or excuse not to carry fundamental navigation tools, charts and a compass.
jimh posted 02-09-2011 09:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh data-shows-disastrous-gps-jamming-fcc-approved-broadcaster-11029 has good information.

I do not believe that the iPhone is in any way related to the Lightsquared proposed use of the L-band microwave band.

Comments note that the approval and comment process has been given a fast track. This usually means there is some strong political support from the Executive Branch for the service.

Considering the GPS industry is a multi-billion-dollar business, I suspect they will be able to look after their own interests in this debate

leapin lunker posted 02-11-2011 06:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for leapin lunker  Send Email to leapin lunker     
Jim--I suspect you are correct, however, Lightsquared is Google's WiMax. I hear Google has a few bucks.--Terry
jimh posted 02-11-2011 08:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Yesterday, in a speech in Marquette, Michigan, the President of the United States praised Northern Michigan University for its use of high-speed networking: Mister Obama said:

""We'll make it possible for businesses to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans."

Curiously, the technology used in the high-speed network was WiMax. However, I would need some more explanation of how Lightsquared is associated with WiMax.

As for a linkage between Google and Lightsquared, I cannot find any good citation of that. From what I have found, Lightsquared is usually described as "a Reston, Virginia company owned by private-equity firm Harbinger Capital Partners."

Harbinger Capital Partners is described as

"a multi-billion dollar private investment fund based in New York. The firm was founded in 2001, and employs a fundamental approach to deep value and distressed credit investing. Harbinger Capital Partners is led by Philip A. Falcone, its Chief Executive Officer, who has more than 20 years of investment experience across an array of market cycles."

Tom W Clark posted 02-11-2011 10:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
How LightSquared works: lightsquared-announces-lte-network/

jimh posted 02-11-2011 11:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
If Lightsquared is LTE (Long Term Evolution), that means Lightsquare is NOT WiMax technology. Most wireless providers are using LTE as a global deployment technology to improve wireless speed. WiMax is a different technology. The two are often marketed to consumers as being "4G" as in fourth-generation.
hauptjm posted 02-11-2011 11:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
From Tom's citation:

“LightSquared could provide a renewed opportunity for retailers and major brands such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Office Depot to enter the wireless market as service providers to consumers,” said Ken Hays, partner at global management consulting firm PRTM. NSN previously announced a deal with TerreStar, to provide its I-HSPA technology. So far not much has happened with the TerreStar/Nokia deal.

Considering the GPS industry is a multi-billion-dollar business, I suspect they will be able to look after their own interests in this debate.

If you think the GPS market is big, then you'll really love the Cellular market. Last year, 107 million cellular phones were sold in India alone. This year they expect 120 million to be sold on the sub-Continent. With over 5 billion* cell phone contracts currently active on the planet (and growing), the GPS industry wouldn't stand a chance against the 3G/4G crowd. That would also explain how this was "bull-rushed" through the Government process.


hauptjm posted 02-11-2011 11:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
I forgot to add this link as well:

jimh posted 02-12-2011 10:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
From my cursory reading on this topic, there are two issues:

--the frequency spectrum allocated to Lightsquared (or its predecessors) was originally allocated only for use in satellite communication, and, from this, one can infer that the price paid to obtain this spectrum by Lightsquared (or its predecessors) was much lower than if the available use of the spectrum at time of purchase permitted terrestrial mobile data relay. Thus FCC approval of re-purposed use of the spectrum represents an enormous financial windfall for Lightsquared and its investors; and

--the frequency spectrum being adjacent to the NAVSTAR GPS L1 carrier is liable to cause interference to existing GPS receivers. In general there is a policy of protecting existing users of spectrum from interference from new users of the spectrum, and the burden of providing the protection is usually on the new user. In this case it appears that Lightsquared proposes to mitigate interference problems by requiring the existing users of the spectrum to take some action.

Whaler_bob posted 02-12-2011 06:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler_bob    
The GPS manufactures should be celebrating the Lightsquared adjacent-channel interference issue. Think of all the new GPS sales it will generate when new "Narrowband GPS" units hit the market.
jimh posted 02-13-2011 03:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In the current allocation of spectrum by the FCC, one of the largest users is the United States military. In the search for new spectrum to use for terrestrial data distribution, the FCC has already forced the Broadcast TV Service to give back hundred of MegaHertz of spectrum. The reclaimed spectrum was immediately sold at auction (for billions of dollars) to common carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and others. There continues to be pressure on the FCC to take back more spectrum from the Broadcast TV Service. I suspect we will see continued battles in policy regarding allocation of spectrum for which there is any demand for use with terrestrial high-speed wireless data service.
jimh posted 03-11-2011 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Garmin and 16 other entities with an interest in the NAVSTAR Global Positioning System industry have formed the "Coalition to Save Our GPS," and are lobbying the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The Coalition wants the FCC and NTIA to force LightSquared to guarantee that its deployment of its planned terrestrial network granted by the FCC in a conditional wavier will not interfere with GPS receivers.

For more information see:

The group's website includes information on how to contact the FCC to voice your concern about degraded GPS reception.

David Pendleton posted 03-11-2011 05:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
Here's an interesting article/how-to on how you can cripple a city for $30.00.


David Pendleton posted 03-11-2011 05:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton dn20202-gps-chaos-how-a-30-box-can-jam-your-life.html?full=true
number9 posted 08-12-2011 12:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
Read this today at: id=1c898613-45b1-48a0-9d86-a767db2b017d

Thu, Aug 11, 2011

FCC Puts LightSquared On Indefinite Hold
Chairman Says Broadband Company Will Not Be Allowed To Interfere With GPS

The chairman of the FCC on Tuesday told reporters that the agency would not allow LightSquared to interfere with millions of GPS receivers on which pilots, mariners, and the public rely for navigation. The remarks came in a news conference following the commissions' monthly meeting.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said LightSquared's launch of a nationwide wireless broadband network would be "on hold" until interference issues are resolved. Broadcast and Cable magazine reports that the commission's goal is to both protect GPS and promote the wireless service that he said would create jobs and lead to private investment in the billions of dollars.

While commissioners agreed that the service proposed by LightSquared would be valuable, they admitted that the interference issue outweighs other concerns. Staffers indicated that they were very interested in protecting aircraft navigation to places such as Ronald Reagan Washington National planes on approach to DCA could be seen from the FCC's conference room window.

The FCC representatives said that there continues to be interference problems, which become more pronounced the closer the LightSquared transmissions are to the GPS band. One FCC official said he did not see a scenario where LightSquared would be allowed to use those frequencies "anytime soon," and that the commission was focusing on testing in the lower portion of LightSquared's proposed bandwidth. The FCC said it was not able to commit to any particular timeframe for the matter to be resolved. LightSquared CEO Phillip Falcone said the company plans to continue to work with both the FCC and the GPS industry in an attempt to resolve the matter.

Whaler_bob posted 08-12-2011 12:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler_bob    
Thanks for the update Number9...
The FCC givith... and the FCC taketh away- sad to say that the FCC is just a clueless money maker for the government now with very few people there who actually understand RF theory.
newt posted 08-14-2011 10:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
Did anyone else read the article linked by David Pendleton? Wow, scary!
jimh posted 08-14-2011 02:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have not read the linked article. Does it discuss the FCC approval process of the LightSquared frequency re-purposing?
jimh posted 08-15-2011 03:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Getting back to the LightSquared proposed spectrum use adjacent to GPS L-band, industry insiders in the GPS business are now saying that this whole proposal is really a feint. The intense opposition to LightSquared's proposed new service from the GPS industry is playing right into LightSquared's plan, which has all along been to force the FCC into swapping this allocation for something more useful. Industry magazine GPS WORLD has an editorial in this month's issue on the topic. I read the printed version; Here is a link to the editorial I mentioned above:

jimh posted 09-22-2011 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
News sources are now saying the Obama administration tried to pressure an Air Force general to alter his testimony about interference to GPS signals from Lightsquared's proposed repurposed use of adjacent frequencies before the general testified before Congress on the matter. See

http:/ / www. foxnews. com/ politics/ 2011/ 09/ 15/ general-reportedly-s aid-was-pressured-to-change-testimony-on-white-house-backed/

It has become rather transparent that the Obama administration is exerting pressure to push Lightsquared's proposal through the FCC approval process. If the repurposed use of the spectrum is approved, it will result in an enormous financial windfall for the investors in Lightsquared. Lightsquared was created by an investment firm whose participants have been supporters of Obama and contributed to his political campaigns.

jimh posted 09-27-2011 01:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
An interesting editorial in a global navigation satellite system magazine points out that the United States of America's NAVSTAR GPS was one of the best creators of American goodwill on a global basis ever produced. Everyone in the world gets to use it at no cost.

Now we are watching a politically tainted FCC toy with the idea of destroying the GPS system in order to grant special frequency allocation to a few politically-connected investors, who will then reap windfall profits by using this spectrum to sell network connectivity to a bunch of teenagers so they can get youtube videos on their smart phones.

It does not seem like a good trade for the general benefit of American citizens. A few well-connected rich guys make more billions of dollars and a free global navigation system is ruined.

The Obama administration has been such a transparent backer of this nonsense that they are, the editorial goes on to say, way out on a limb with this. They don't really have any way to save face. Obama may just NOT be able to back down, now that the stakes are so high.

We need to keep up the pressure before the GPS system is trashed so a few billionaires can get a bit richer. Send another letter to your congressman and tell them you don't want you GPS system ruined by Lightsquared.

I remember when the FCC actually had engineers that worked for it, and it was not run by political hacks who made technical decisions based on marching orders from the White House.

It is extremely clear that the engine global navigation satellite system industry is opposed to Lightsquared.

jimh posted 09-27-2011 01:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Another global navigation satellite system journal editorial calls Mr. Obama "the worst GPS president." It compares the accomplishments and stewardship of various presidents in the development and deployment of the Air Force NAVSTAR GPS. See

jimh posted 09-27-2011 01:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Another news source says the Obama Administration tried to force military personnel to alter their testimony before Congress on the effect of Lightsquared on GPS. See

jimh posted 09-27-2011 11:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
GPS NEWS magazine editorial on Lighsquared makes for very interesting reading: out-front-the-good-bad-incompetent-12019

Read this--it is a brilliant summation of the GPS situation and our government.

Moose posted 02-15-2012 08:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moose  Send Email to Moose     
This sounds like pretty good news, unless you're invested in Falcone's hedge fund. lightsquared-blow-gives-falcone-few-options-to-salvage-value.html

jimh posted 02-16-2012 09:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Most of the geniuses in the news business that have been writing favorably about Lightsquare have no understanding of the power level difference between signals from Satellites--arriving at the femtowatt level--and signals from terrestrial access points running 100-watts. They act like adjacent services ought to not interfere if there is any frequency separation at all. The power level difference between GPS signals at -130dBm and terrestrial signals at +30dBm, is 16 orders of magnitude. You don't need to be a Ph.D in E.E. to figure that out. How the FCC ever thought this could be possible is now the subject of further inquiry.
David Pendleton posted 02-17-2012 08:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
Did anyone else read the article linked by David Pendleton? Wow, scary!

I have not read the linked article. Does it discuss the FCC approval process of the LightSquared frequency re-purposing?

No. It discusses how dependent we are on this service and how easy it is to disrupt it and wreak havoc in our lives.

LightSquared isn't the only thing threatening the GPS spectrum.

jimh posted 02-17-2012 09:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I don't think the FCC policy affects intentional jamming. Perhaps it would be a good topic for another discussion.
dfmcintyre posted 02-18-2012 07:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Hopefully, the FCC has driven a stake through it...
southshore fisherman posted 02-24-2012 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for southshore fisherman  Send Email to southshore fisherman     
I just got an email from Boat US about the testing that was done. He's your chance to make a difference by supporting the FCC's recomendation to stop LightSquared's current proposal.

hauptjm posted 02-27-2012 01:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
News out today:

southshore fisherman posted 02-28-2012 10:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for southshore fisherman  Send Email to southshore fisherman     
No final decision has been made. Having already spent $4 billion dollars, Philip Falcone is not going to give up without a fight.

"The FCC has a new comment period (open to March 1) asking for the public’s opinion. Even if you wrote last summer, please take a few minutes now and write the FCC asking them to protect the GPS signal by saying “No” to LightSquared’s current proposal. Given this company’s tenacity over the last year, we want to make sure that boaters’ needs are remembered as the FCC makes their final decision." Quoted from the BoatUS government affairs Federal Alert.

Use the link in my last post to send your comments to the FCC.

hauptjm posted 05-15-2012 09:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
To paraphrase The Dead, "what a short, strange trip it's been!"

Lightsquared declares bankruptcy yesterday, Falcone is up to his you-know-whats in trouble and the Government beat goes on. Oy vey!

Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.