In recent weeks, the folks at LightSquared, pushers of ultra high-speed broadband internet for the future, have been under fire from the FCC as their signals seem to have been interfering with GPS in pre-tests. What’s going on now is that LightSquared is saying that the results of these tests were rigged. LightSquared’s own executive vice president Jeffrey Carlisle’s most recent statement even used the word “bogus” to describe the tests at hand.
Alternate words from LightSquared on the subject have included them pushing for additional testing and trying to get the FCC to say that GPS has no exclusive rights to the waves they use. This most recent statement from the group has us wondering how much time they’ve got left given how far they’ve gotten thus far. As LightSquared Executive VP Jeffrey Carlisle says:
“The testing just doesn’t reflect reality — and it was probably never intended to. [Recent testing] was rigged by manufacturers of GPS receivers and government end users to produce bogus results. We’ll continue to look at alternatives … assuming this goes past the end of January.” – Carlisle
The folks on the GPS side of things have another opinion, that LightSquared is attempting to attack the testers because they do not like the test results. This would certainly seem to be correct save for the idea that maybe, just maybe, GPS doesn’t hold the exclusive rights to the waves (reserved mainly for faint emissions from satellites), and LightSquared has full rights to argue. As Jim Kirkland, general counsel to GPS maker Trimble Navigation Ltd, notes,
“LightSquared does not like the test results, so it is attacking the testers. Test after test has shown that LightSquared’s ill-conceived plans do in fact cause widespread interference with GPS.” – Kirkland
It appears that GPS might come out on top of this one, by the looks of it, and LightSquared’s position will turn into a move over or get out sort of situation. Will the group be able to convert their technology to turn over a new leaf, or is this the end for LightSquared? We’ll see in a few weeks, at the latest!