LightSquared aims to provide nationwide wireless broadband in the US but the plan is drawing criticism from experts who fear that the nework could drown out GPS signals and interfere with everything from aircraft to police and civilian navigation devices.
The network, under construction by a company from Virginia called LightSquared, would provide a nationwide wireless broadband network – but using frequencies close to those on which the time signals from the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites are transmitted. GPS equipment manufacturers say that any strong signals from the LightSquared system could drown out the incredibly faint signals from the orbiting satellites.
A technical fix could cost billions of dollars, according to one estimate, and it is unclear who would have to pay. US government officials say they will block LightSquared from activating the network unless they get assurances that GPS will still work.