GPS Alliance Says LightSquared Resolution “Not a Private Matter” for Three GPS Firms

The GPS Innovation Alliance today responded to a recent ex parte filing at the FCC filed by LightSquared LLC that suggested that the company and several manufacturers of GPS devices “can reach a reasonable business compromise” (TRDaily, June 29). The organization said all stakeholders must be involved in any solution.

In the filing, LightSquared mentioned plans for its engineers to conduct testing and said the FCC could help it obtain receiver design information from Deere & Company, Garmin International, Inc., and Trimble Navigation Ltd. LightSquared also said it wanted explanations from those companies about the economic issues that concern them regarding LightSquared’s planned terrestrial network and would like to meet with the companies to discuss a variety of issues, including pending litigation.

The GPS Innovation Alliance said in a statement released late this afternoon that it “supports a consensus-driven process, including all government and non-government stakeholders, to clearly identify and address remaining technical issues raised by LightSquared proposals to repurpose mobile satellite spectrum for terrestrial broadband use.  The technical challenges posed by these proposals are formidable, as evidenced by the conclusions of multiple U.S. government entities.

“Specifically, the U.S. Departments of Defense and Transportation and the NTIA have all found in the last several years that LightSquared’s proposals have significant potential to interfere with GPS. Contrary to LightSquared’s recent suggestions, this is not simply a private matter between three GPS companies and LightSquared, but is important to all GPS users who rely on this critical technology every day,” the alliance added. “The Department of Transportation has sponsored an ongoing effort to assess adjacent band issues, and the GPS industry is actively engaged with the FCC, DOT and other government stakeholders to drive consensus around next steps.  While we welcome the participation of LightSquared consultants, any further analysis of the technical issues should be informed by input from all of the relevant stakeholders, rather than the one-off efforts of an interested party.”- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com