SellTower Signals

Interfering with LightSquared: Part 2

Right at the pitch of the anti-LightSquared fervor, the FCC approved LightSquared’s plan to deploy 4G services.  As I predicted, the concerns of government agencies and other carriers about the potential for LightSquared transmissions to interfere with GPS antennas were dismissed by the FCC.  LightSquared is free to deploy its nationwide 4G network.  Now the real work begins.

Several government agencies, including the Department of Defense, formally communicated their concerns about GPS interference from LightSquared wireless transmissions.  These agencies were joined by some wireless carriers who had similar concerns related to their GPS antennas at cell site locations.  These GPS antennas play important roles in the operation and tracking of wireless networks.

While the investment, legal, and regulatory community was at near panic levels over these interference communications, the management at LightSquared never even blinked.  Much sooner than I predicted, the FCC dismissed those concerns and issued approval for LightSquared to proceed with their 4G network deployment plans.

LightSquared is not through the woods yet.  They have a daunting task ahead just to deploy a planned network of an estimated 40,000 cell sites.  Furthermore, they will no doubt be asked to make some concessions on the interference issue as they deploy their equipment.  The wireless industry has a long tradition of working through interference issues using a combination of antenna spacing and filtering approaches.  I expect more of the same as LightSquared deploys its network.