LightSquared's plan to develop a wholesale 4G LTE wireless broadband network is causing quite a stir as the company's nationwide network would wreak havoc on GPS navigation. The company has now admitted that its most recent plan will disrupt approximately 200,000 GPS devices, but blames GPS vendors for designing products that depend on using spectrum assigned to other FCC licensees, and suggests the problem could have been avoided by equipping GPS units with filters that cost as little as five cents each:
The company also says that GPS vendors have shown no willingness to find a fix and says that "the GPS industry could have avoided [this problem] by equipping their devices over the last several years with filters that cost as little as five cents each." Lightsquared has developed its own "three-part solution" to the problem that will now be vetted by FCC engineers.
LightSquared's testing shows that the fix "resolves interference for approximately 99.5 percent of all commercial GPS devices—including 100 percent of the 300 million GPS-enabled cell phones" and says that it can't believe such a terrific national benefit as a new national wireless network could be held up over "a problem posed by approximately 200,000 GPS devices."
As for GPS device designers, "LightSquared believes cooperation is the least to expect from an industry that built a business by piggy-backing on the federal government’s GPS network without any investment in infrastructure or spectrum… [T]he commercial GPS industry’s ability to use the US government’s GPS network amounts to an $18 billion federal subsidy."