LightSquared, the proposed US LTE wholesale network, has again questioned the validity of test results carried out on behalf of a government advisory board that concluded its network would significantly interfere with GPS devices.
In a statement, LightSquared said the tests carried out by Air Force Space Command on behalf of the Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Executive Committee (PNT EXCOM) were “rigged” by GPS device manufacturers and government end users to produce “bogus results.”
LightSquared has called on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to objectively re-evaluate the tests and evaluate mitigation proposals put forward by LightSquared. It has also asked the FCC and NTIA to conduct a second round of independent tests to ensure objectivity and transparency.
The PNT EXCOM, which advises the US government on GPS issues, reportedly wrote a letter to the Commerce Department last week saying LightSquared’s network would interfere with GPS services with no way to resolve the issue quickly. The airwaves used by LightSquared’s proposed network are close to GPS frequencies, prompting concerns that the network could affect critical GPS services.
However LightSquared said the testing was “shrouded in secrecy” and focused on “obsolete and niche market devices that were least able to withstand potential interference.” It claims just 1 percent of contemporary GPS devices were tested.
The tests also had a conservative definition of failure for devices – 1dB of interference – which experts have told LightSquared has “no impact on GPS positional accuracy.” “By setting the definition of interference at one dB, the testing was rigged to ensure that most receivers would fail,” LightSquared said.
The company said it agreed to every technical guideline requested by the FCC, NTIA and Federal Aviation Authority and will continue to work with the federal government to resolve the GPS interference issue. “LightSquared is confident that a fair process will allow the company to move forward with its plan to deliver wireless broadband to hundreds of millions of consumers,” the company said.