LightSquared asks FCC to affirm its spectrum rights

The carrier wants confirmation that it can use its licensed frequencies regardless of GPS interference

LightSquared has asked the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to affirm its right to use its radio spectrum, possibly setting the stage for a legal battle over interference between its planned mobile data network and GPS receivers.

The would-be hybrid mobile operator, which wants to build a national LTE (Long-Term Evolution) network using frequencies next to those devoted to GPS (Global Positioning System), filed a petition for declaratory ruling to the FCC on Tuesday.

LightSquared wants the FCC to affirm that it can use the spectrum and that makers of commercial GPS devices don't have a right to protection from interference. The company said it is not at fault for the interference because tests have shown the problem is caused by GPS receivers looking into its licensed spectrum. GPS receivers are not licensed and don't operate under any service rules, so they aren't entitled to interference protection, LightSquared said in the petition.

The company has said previously that it has a right to use its spectrum and has suggested it would take legal action if not allowed to build its planned network of 40,000 LTE base stations. But it has not been clear what legal recourse LightSquared may have. Official tests showed significant interference yet again in a second round of tests last month, making LightSquared's prospects look bleaker.

In January, the FCC granted LightSquared a waiver to one of its rules, allowing the carrier to sell satellite and LTE services separately as long as interference issues were resolved. But LightSquared has said it has a right to use the spectrum that goes back years earlier.

"LightSquared has had FCC authorization to build its network for over eight years and that authorization was endorsed by the GPS industry," said Jeff Carlisle, LightSquared's executive vice president for regulatory affairs and public policy, in a press release on Tuesday.

LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja pointed to the FCC's responsibility in a statement in the same release. "This petition goes to the very heart of the FCC's mission, which is to ensure that the nation's airwaves are governed by regulatory certainty," Ahuja said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentmobileregulationlegalU.S. Federal Communications CommissionLightSquared

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?